The title comes from a comment in the preceding post and had anonymous been less anonymous he would not have to share credit with the more prolific author of all times.
So yes, Chavez came out: he not only will keep inflicting us a pain in the ass but his own came back. Does this change the intent of my previous post? Not at all. Here is why.
In a normal country the health of the head of state, or government as the case maybe, is an affair of the state. People have the right to know how long will the representative of the people be in diminished conditions and who is taking the decisions in between. In normal countries sometimes it is the usage to hide the diseases, and it is hidden well. France is a specialist at that: Pompidou's death was a surprise for many. Mitterrand went on reelection knowing well that he might not make it through his seven years term because of his prostate cancer. But this was made possible because all knew that the president was not the only one with the power, that there was a prime minister and a cabinet of real politicians, real professionals in charge. That is why the press was an accomplice to many of France's presidential secrets.
Other countries have different ways to deal with it. In the US besides the stroke of Wilson managed by his wife who was president for all purposes for quite a while, no president has had a debilitating disease while in office the way Chavez has now. And as in France, secretaries and congress have enough power and attributions on their own that diseases lasting a few weeks could perfectly be tolerated by the country.
That is not the case of totalitarian countries. We experienced the case of Cuba when Fidel went ill and was forced to create the first monarchy of the continent (Brazil and Haiti were Empires, you know). But Chavez has no family heir ready to take over, and all power resides in his hands. All.
Since his disease cannot be hidden as other diseases were hidden for other afflicted presidents, it creates for his regime unique problems, the more so that this is a country of gossipers. The only way is to fight fire with fire, create gossips and when possible counter them, or, surprise, validate them. Whatever the strategy one thing is certain, gossiping distracts the populace form the real issues.
We should not pay attention because this is not a normal regime and there is no good way for Chavez to part temporarily with power in a satisfactory way for the opposition. It does not matter how right a given professional gossiper is, it does not change anything to our reality. What I mean is "who cares who is the vice president when Chavez is on medical leave? All will be the same, directed by a tiny group tightly controlled by Cuban interests." The paradox is that Chavez has all the power but he gave it away to people we do not know, in all truth.
Our references here are Tito and Franco, not even Fidel. They shared zilch until they croaked. But people were busy preparing the transition anyway, just waiting for the date to get started.
Tomorrow punditry will be askance as to what Chavez will do and Chavez will be delighted to be in all front pages again, with even an occasional show of support. That he lied to his followers telling them repeatedly he was cured was irresponsible, but it will not affect him anyway. Did Pudreval affect him? Did the corruption affect him? Did the crime wave affect him?
What we should do is remind constantly to the people those issues and point over and over that he is treated in Cuba at tax payer expenses where he receives a health care no one can afford here, in full security, with his relatives and friends travelling to visit him at tax payer expenses, as often as they wish. And unfollow @Boccaranda, no matter how well informed he is. He will drive you sick.