The New York Times headlined "A Celebration That Accentuated an Absence."
Chavez's "silence spoke loudest of all." He hasn't "been seen or heard from directly in a month."
He's ill. He's struggling to recover. Complicated surgery healing takes time.
The Washington Post headlined "Ailing Hugo Chavez's inauguration proceeds symbolically in Venezuela."
"The show must go on".and so it" did. "Fiery revolutionary speeches" were delivered. Chavez couldn't give his own. Others filled in for him.
Opposition leaders were "powerless to head off the day's events, which only underscored Chavez's continued hold on power."
He didn't seize it. He earned it responsibly. Venezuelans love him. They turned out supportively en masse. They do it often. They do it because they mean it. January 10 was special.
Washington Post comments were largely low key. They stopped short of reigning on Chavez's parade.