BY STEVE LEVINE
As Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez struggles to recover from surgery, Cuba may have the most say over who succeeds him.
A parade of relatives and senior Venezuelan officials have been in Havana this week to visit Chávez, stricken with a severe respiratory infection following his fourth cancer surgery last month. But the Chávez lieutenants also appear to be holding meetings with senior Cuban officials about how a succession will unfold should the Venezuelan leader be incapacitated or die, according to experts.
One of Chávez’s visitors this week has been Vice President Nicolás Maduro, Chávez’s chosen successor and also Cuba’s favorite. But so has Maduro’s chavista rival, Diosdado Cabello, president of the National Assembly, whose power base is the Venezuelan military.
“They are sitting down with [Cuban President] Raúl Castro and other senior Cuban officials about how a transition will happen. The conclusion is that Chávez won’t be able to return,” said José Cárdenas, a former ... Read More