Many Venezuelans believe Chavez will return to power
By The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 9:21 p.m.
CARACAS — Venezuela's vice president said on Thursday that Hugo Chavez is still fighting for his life, yet a recent poll says three in five Venezuelans believe their president will return to power.
Nicolas Maduro, Chavez's self-appointed successor, said on television that his boss “is battling there for his health, for his life, and we're accompanying him.”
The vice president had characterized Chavez's condition similarly on Dec. 20, saying the president “is fighting a great battle ... for his life, for his health.”
Chavez hasn't spoken or been seen since before his fourth operation in Cuba on Dec. 11 for an unspecified cancer in the pelvic area.
The government says he has been breathing with the help of a tracheal tube after surviving a serious respiratory infection. It says Chavez returned on Feb. 18 and is at a military hospital in Caracas for continued treatment for “respiratory insufficiency.”
Despite speculation by doctors not involved in Chavez's treatment that it is most likely palliative, designed only to make him more comfortable in his remaining days, many Venezuelans apparently believe — or want to believe — he is on the mend.
“The president's prolonged absence and his critical situation have not been converted into massive pessimism about his return,” respected pollster Luis Vicente Leon tweeted on Thursday.
He said nearly 58 percent of Venezuelans believe Chavez will recover; 30 percent believe he will not return to power; and 12.5 percent say they don't know what will happen.
One percent, meanwhile, believe Chavez was never sick.
Leon, chief of the Datanalisis polling firm, told The Associated Press that the Feb. 11 poll of 1,198 people had an error margin of 3 percentage points.
He said he thought the poll reflected people's desire not to believe the worst about someone who is dear to them, just as people resist accepting that a close relative might be dying.
Leon also said he thought reports of government officials holding hours-long meetings with Chavez had contributed to the belief of many Venezuelans that Chavez will return.
“The government has sent permanent messages that President Chavez will return, that he meets with the vice president for five hours,” Leon said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mexico may open up oil production
- North Korea purges Kim Jong Un’s powerful uncle
- Mandela closes American divide, as Obama, Bush, Hillary share flight to Johannesburg
- Assad forces regain control of key town