Chavez had four cancer surgeries in 18 months. Recovery from major surgery is daunting. Multiple ones create added complications. Venezuelans are justifiably concerned.
It's unclear if Chavez is well enough to serve. His longterm health prognosis is uncertain. Medical experts disagree. No one knows for sure.
Venezuelan leadership will be for grabs if he's gone. Eventually he will be. Chavista angst reflects the possibility. They want him leading Venezuela as long as he's able. Transitioning to new leadership won't be easy.
On January 10, his new six-year term begins. His struggle to recover continues. He hopes he'll end up cancer free.
His current condition shows he needs more recovery time. He'll unlikely return for inaugural swearing in. Expect postponement to follow.
Venezuelan constitutional law has wiggle room. Under Article 231:
"The candidate elected shall take office as President of the Republic on January 10 of the first year of his constitutional term, by taking an oath before the National Assembly."
"If for any supervening reason, the person elected President of the Republic cannot be sworn in before the National Assembly, he shall take the oath of office before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice."