Chavez Returns to Cuba
By William Tucker
After declaring in May that he was cancer-free and with his recent reelection, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has returned to Cuba for further medical treatment. Venezuela has not released the reason for the treatment, but they have stated the type of treatment that Chavez will undergo. Unfortunately, the described procedures have many applications thus making it difficult to discern anything useful about the president’s health. The health of the Venezuelan president is certainly a curious issue as it can have political repercussions among several states in the region. Cuba, for instance, receives a generous supply of crude oil from Chavez and has come to rely on this as a staple for its economic well being. Neighboring countries such as Colombia are currently in negotiations with FARC rebels in Cuba – a militant movement Chavez has been accused of supporting. Additionally, Chavez has been known to support several so-called rogue states in a variety of ways. Chavez has managed to position himself as the center of gravity in Venezuela and for Caracas to lose that could create chaos in the country. Granted, the loss of Chavez is survivable, but the impact on the nation and region would be a complicated issue. As such, the health of the Venezuelan president will be closely monitored.