Rumors Swirl About Hugo Chavez's Health
Venezuela leader has been low-profile since surgery in Cuba on June 8
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2011 6:46 PM CDT
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez gives a thumbs-up in a file photo.   (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
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(Newser) – Venezuela's Hugo Chavez hasn't been joking about aiming missiles at the US lately. In fact, he has been nearly invisible since emergency surgery in Cuba on June 10, and that has speculation swirling about his health and political future, reports the Wall Street Journal. The official word is that he remains firmly in control of state business, but he has yet to return home despite several false alarms.

"We don't know very much about [Chávez's] health, there is no official news, only partial reports," the editor of an opposition newspaper tells the Journal. The 56-year-old fell ill with a pelvic abscess on June 8 while on a visit to Cuba, and he had surgery two days later. He was supposed to recuperate for a "few days," but it's approaching two weeks now. Still, a senior Latin American analyst at Nomura Securities expects him to be back in form in plenty of his time for his 2012 re-election bid.