Chávez names successor as cancer returns


Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez returned to Cuba for more surgery yesterday after a recurrence of cancer led him to name a successor for the first time.

Throngs of shocked supporters gathered in squares across the South American country to pray for and show solidarity with the 58-year-old socialist leader, who was re-elected as president in October.

In his first public acknowledgement that cancer could put an end to his tumultuous rule, Mr Chavez said vice-president Nicolas Maduro would take over if he is incapacitated, and urged supporters to vote for him if an election is held.

“With God’s will, like on the previous occasions, we will come out victorious,” Mr Chavez said late on Saturday from the presidential palace next to ashen-faced ministers. – (Reuters)