Girish Gupta

HOME

PHOTOS

ONLINE

Twitter
Instagram
IFTTT
Facebook
LinkedIn
Keybase
GitHub

BY COUNTRY

Brazil
Colombia
Cuba
Ecuador
Egypt
Guyana
Iraq
Jordan
Lebanon
Mexico
United Kingdom
Venezuela

BY MEDIUM

Text
Photo
Radio
TV/Video

BY PUBLISHER

Al Jazeera
BBC
BuzzFeed
CBC
Christian Science Monitor
CNN
Daily Mail
Datum
Ecologist
Economist Intelligence Unit
Emerging Markets
Financial Times
Foreign Policy
France 24
Fusion
GlobalPost
Guardian
Independent
La Prensa (Panama)
LatinFinance
Mancunion
Monocle
National (Abu Dhabi)
New Internationalist
New Statesman
New York Times
New Yorker
NPR
PBS
PRI
Radio France Internationale
Reuters
RTE
Sky News
Sun
Sunday Times
Telegraph
TIME
Times of London
USA Today
Vice
WLRN

ABOUT

About
CV
Contact (PGP Key)
Hugo Chávez's triumphant return to Venezuela
Jul. 5, 2011

Published by Christian Science Monitor

For five minutes yesterday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez stood on the balcony of his presidential palace in silence, lapping up the cheers of thousands of supporters ecstatic to see their hero back in town after a long – and uncharacteristically silent – period of convalescence in Cuba.

Mr. Chávez's surprise return – just days after announcing that he had been undergoing treatment for cancer while in Cuba – comes just in time for the country’s bicentennial celebrations today.

Street parties are planned across the nation and a military parade will wind through the capital, Caracas, to mark 200 years since Venezuela won its independence from Spain.

The festivities have been planned for years and Chavez wouldn't have missed it, say analysts.

“The bicentennial is an irresistible political moment for [Chávez],” says Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue think tank in Washington. “He naturally wants to make the most of it, and he can only do that in front of adoring throngs in Venezuela.”

And adoring they were.

“We give our hearts to our Comandante Chávez,” says Maury Carrasquel, wearing a red beret as he watched Chávez speak from the palace balcony.

“It’s a miracle I am here considering how I was,” said Chávez.

Indeed, many considered his return doubtful after his announcement last week that he had undergone surgery for cancer. But Venezuelans woke up Monday morning to see pictures of Chávez arriving at Caracas’s airport in the early hours, hugging ministers and even breaking out in a traditional folk song.

The news, alongside the president’s ebullient mood, sparked impromptu street parties all over Caracas culminating with Chávez’s address to the thousands of fans gathered at the presidential palace.

“We are here because we love Chávez,” said Andre Tevari, a businessman, one of thousands of supporters dressed in red leaning on railings at the palace. “He has done so much for us. He is the one. It is the opposition that is the cancer of this country.”

Opposition leaders, for their part, wondered if the Chávez's somber announcement last week and proud return yesterday were politically calculated.

Henrique Capriles Radonski, widely tipped to win primaries in February and take on Chávez in next year’s election, predicted last week that the whole situation was a political ploy in order to allow Chávez a “triumphant return.”

While Chávez suggested from the Miraflores balcony that doctors’ orders may hamper his ability to take part in celebrations, there is little doubt now that the master of public relations will at least appear for a photo, bathing in the sea of red that faithfully and unhesitatingly buoys his popularity.

Esleé Polido, a member of Chávez’s Bolivarian militia, said yesterday, outside the Comandante’s presidential palace, “I am here for the president, for the revolution and for my country. I will be here until I die.”




More...

Exclusive: At least 123 Venezuelan soldiers detained since protests - documents
Jul. 6, 2017


Venezuela hikes minimum wage 50 percent, effectively down 17 percent
Jul. 2, 2017


Venezuela movie actor behind helicopter attack on government buildings
Jun. 28, 2017


Fourteen Venezuelan army officers jailed in first week of protests - documents
Jun. 6, 2017


Exclusive: U.S. considers possible sanctions against Venezuela oil sector - officials
Jun. 4, 2017


Exclusive: Trump administration concerned about U.S. firms giving financial 'lifeline' to Venezuela
Jun. 4, 2017


United Airlines ends flights to Venezuela, further isolating country
Jun. 3, 2017


Venezuela sets new exchange mechanism, as currency continues to slide
May. 24, 2017


Exclusive: Venezuela holds 5,000 Russian surface-to-air MANPADS missiles
May. 22, 2017


Venezuelan opposition activists march to Leopoldo Lopez' jail
Apr. 28, 2017


Venezuela says inflation 274 percent last year, economists say far higher
Apr. 20, 2017


Venezuelan protests against government leave three dead
Apr. 19, 2017


Venezuelans return to streets, roused by ban on opposition leader
Apr. 8, 2017


Venezuelan opposition, security forces clash in anti-Maduro protests
Apr. 6, 2017


Venezuela security forces battle anti-Maduro protesters
Apr. 4, 2017








© Girish Gupta