Speaking in a TV broadcast from Havana, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez announced on Thursday that he’s had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. Chavez, who looked pale and emotional while making the announcement, said he was continuing treatment, but did not specify what that treatment entailed or where the tumor was located. He gave no indication of when he would return to Venezuela, and he did not name a temporary substitute to lead the nation of 29 million people. Although rumors about Chavez’s health have recently made the rounds, Venezuelans were reportedly shocked by the announcement. Analysts say a prolonged absence could possibly prompt calls by opposition parties for an election before the expected 2012 poll.
I’m going to spend the next year as a private citizen, but I do indeed intend to run for office again. I’m not sure for what, and I am not exactly certain when. I need to take a nap. But once I do, I’m planning to get back into the ring.