58% of Venezuelans: Chavez Will Be Back

Even as he's spent months battling for his life

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 1, 2013 8:52 AM CST

(Newser) – Huge Chavez may be breathing through a tube and, rumor has it, close to death—CNN Chile even erroneously announced he was dead Wednesday evening—but nearly 58% of Venezuelans still believe their president will return to power, reports the AP. This as the country's VP yesterday said Chavez "is battling for his health, for his life, and we're accompanying him" ... which is close to the same wording Nicolas Maduro used two months ago, on Dec. 20. (The line then: Chavez "is fighting a great battle ... for his life, for his health.") But the poll, taken Feb. 11, also shows that 44% of Venezuelans don't think the government has been transparent about Chavez's health.

A supporter of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday holding a painting of the ailing leader during an event to commemorate the violent street protests of 1989 known as the Caracazo.
A supporter of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday holding a painting of the ailing leader during an event to commemorate the violent street protests of 1989 known as the "Caracazo."   (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles speaks during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013.
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles speaks during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
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