Why Hugo Chavez’s Illness Matters

On June 10th President Hugo Chavez went under the knife in Havana to remove what Venezuelan officials called a pelvic abscess. Since that date, Chavez has been out of the public eye. For a loquacious president fond of giving seven hour speeches to a bleary-eyed audience, this is an extraordinary amount of time to maintain silence, leading to rampant speculative fervour within Venezuela, and internationally.