Argentina's President Christina Kirchner and Peru's Ollanta Humalta came on January 11. It was mainly on official business.
Chavez's health provided another reason. It's unclear if either leader saw him. He's very much on their minds.
Over the weekend, the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) met.
GPP is a broad front. It was created in 2011. It's an alliance of popular organizations and political parties. They advance social justice. They support Chavez and Bolivarianism.
On January 10, they rallied throughout Venezuela supportively. Tens of thousands joined them. So did representatives from 27 regional countries. They reacted against right-wing opposition.
Days earlier, they called for massive street protests. They deny the legality of postponing Chavez's inauguration. Constitutional law is clear. Venezuela's Supreme Court affirmed it.
It ruled unanimously for postponement. A later date will be scheduled. High Court magistrates will administer swearing-in when it's held.
Chavez was democratically reelected. Popular sentiment chose him. The Organization of American States (OAS) concurs.
<blockquote>Secretary-general Jose Miguel Insulza said the body "fully respects the decision taken by the constitutional powers in Venezuela."
"This issue has now been resolved by the three powers of the Venezuelan state (executive, legislative and judicial).
"They have chosen a way that gives time for the situation (with regard to Chavez's health) to become clear."
It "allows a waiting period for the president elect to return and be sworn-in."</blockquote>
Democracies work that way. Popular sentiment matters most. Venezuelans won't tolerate less.
Opposition elements have other ideas. They called for a January 23 "massive demonstration of force."
<blockquote>They urged supporters to join "this civic, peaceful and democratic struggle, principally inside our country, as well as bringing the denouncement of the violation of our constitution and its democratic principles to the international community."</blockquote>
Dark forces never quit. Washington provides support. Chavistas stand tall against them. They won't tolerate subverting democratic freedoms.