Where oh where is my little Hugo? Oh, where oh where could he be?
As posted yesterday, the weirdest news of the week was that Hugo Chávez went missing over the weekend, spurring rumors that he was dead.
His weekly 6-hr TV show, “Aló Presidente” was pre-empted by a volleyball game on Sunday, the radio broadcast of the same was also cancelled, and he didn’t show at a scheduled demonstration.
Before I closed blogging shop for the evening, I posted Venezuelan daily El Nacional‘s story that Chávez was well and had chaired a meeting of his ministers. He appeared on a TV broadcast and claimed to have gone away for the weekend to visit his 7 yr-old daughter. The interesting thing is, 1,000 people were outside clamoring for him “¡Patria o muerte, por nuestro presidente!” (“Homeland or death, for our president”)and he didn’t come out. This morning El Nacional added a slide show to the same story, but added nothing to their report. El Universal repeats the same story, which you can also find at El Nuevo Herald and several other papers. However, AP has this photo, released by Venezuelan news agency Miraflores, captioned
President Hugo Chavez gestures to his supporters from a balcony in the presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 30, 2005, reassuring hundreds of worried supporters massed outside who had demanded proof that he was all right after he disappeared from public view over the weekend.
None of the articles mention his appearing to the crowd.
Venezuela News and Views comments,
What was weirdest was the show of despair of his supporters willing to believe that he was dead or something. I, for one, was relieved that for 48 hours the president was not occupying the news. I was more than willing to enjoy the break, and suspected from the start that it was some strange show set up for some even more stranger reason. After all, the Supremos of history LOVE to check out the love of their flocks….
And who knew Hugo was such a volleyball fan, too!
Update To further contribute to the surreal atmosphere, long-dead Che was at the demonstration. Has Elvis left the building yet?