Chavez is missing


Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, who's never missed the opportunity to be star of the show in his entire life, raised eyebrows in Caracas for not showing up at a rally he called yesterday.  The sclerotic Vice President Jose "Vissarionovich" Rangel (as he is known) turned up instead and told Chavez supporters to quit complaining and recognize that they can't "have" Chavez all the time. Rangel offered no explanation for Chavez's absence.

Compounding the mysterious absence, Chavez didn't make his Sunday 'Alo Presidente' television and radio show, either. Venezuelan officials, in the best Kim Il Sung tradition, announced that Chavez had decided he wanted Venezuelans to watch a volleyball match instead
Extremely strange.
Caracas is awash in rumors about the dictator's whereabouts. Some note that Chavez was extremely upset that the busloads of supporters his party had shipped in to Caracas Saturday took off for the shopping malls instead of attend the planned rally. And so Chavez had a heart attack or something like it the following morning. Maybe problems from a cocaine binge, I wonder?

Others say Chavez, ever the paranoid dictator, is reviewing military officer lists for promotions, because from his point of view, it's important to promote the right officers, given that he trusts none of them. It could be anything. The Venezuelan press is all over this, but officials are stonewalling.

Chavez's spokesman, Andres Izarra insists nothing is going on and Chavez 'esta bien,'  merely preoccupied with the welfare of the Venezuelan people. Leonid Brezhnev's spokesman could not have said it better.
One thing is certain: something's going on with the tropical dictator and whatever it is, he doesn't want to say.
A.M. Mora y Leon 05 30 05 

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