Where in the World is Hugo Chavez?

In yesterday’s news of the New York Times, there was an article describing a debacle revolving around Venezuela president Hugo Chavez’s signature on an official degree. The only problem is, this president has not been seen or heard from since his cancer surgery in Cuba on December 11, 2012. Officials say that he is still in Cuba; however, the document in question was promulgated in Caracas. A Venezuelan lawmaker stated that he is sure that the signature was scanned, and they they are demanding the original document for handwriting analysis. Additionally, it raised questions as to the whereabouts of Mr. Chavez. This controversy halted the action of the decree, which named his long-time ally Elias Jaua as the new foreign minister. Critics are also demanding Chavez make a public appearance so that he may be lawfully sworn into office, an act that was put on hold due to his surgery.

Although we have not yet began discussions of present-day Venezuela, this article faintly relates to politics of post-1830 South America in that the president will do whatever it takes to maintain power. Chavez is making a huge effort to remain president even though his physical state suggests that he resign from office; however, in an attempt to keep a grasp on control, he utilizes the technology of an electronic signature to continue passing personally favorable legislation.

-Amy Abernathy