Andrew Cawthorne and Mario Naranjo
May 18, 2012
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has not been seen or heard in public since returning a week ago from his latest cancer treatment in Cuba but was well enough to monitor a jail riot in Caracas, an ally said on Friday.
The usually garrulous and attention-seeking Chavez’s disappearances from public view have become longer and more frequent this year. That has fueled speculation his condition has worsened and may complicate a re-election bid in October.
Allies in the ruling Socialist Party, however, insist Chavez, 57, remains on top of government affairs, is recovering and is not mulling a succession.