LINK CHANGE / New Details
Despite a jocular return to Caracas early Friday...after 10 days of 'oxygen therapy' in La Habana...during a 30 minute speech...President Hugo Chavez announced Saturday on TV...that his still undisclosed cancer had returned...and he needed another surgery in Cuba.
He called it 'a new battle'...and left for La Habana today.
But...he has vowed to return.
Since May 2011...Chavez, 58...has undergone 3 surgeries there...and twice claimed to be cured.
Chavez declared, 'Fortunately, this revolution doesn't depend on one man. Today we have a collective leadership.'
Hugo's swearing-in for another 6-year term as president is scheduled 10 January.
Still...his succession scenario...is murky.
Caracas' sovereign bonds soared Monday...with yields plummeting...over the news.
The economic fates of Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia and other Caribe nations that rely heavily on subsidized Venezuelan oil...will roil in next few months...until Chavez's medical condition becomes clearer.
Meanwhile...some USA oncologists believe the cancer's return is grim news...that his condition is terminal.
But the effect of Chavez's announcement on the important 16 December gubernatorial elections is unknown.
It may stimulate more sympathy for him...or encourage a now stronger opposition...to throw out Hugo loyalists.