Out of nowhere this morning, Hugo Chávez returned to Venezuela, six months after winning reelection and two months after going to Cuba to receive unspecified treatments. That he can travel certainly suggests he may be improving somewhat at least, though photos released last week (with him resting in each) likewise suggest he is far from completely healthy. While his return likely means he perhaps can finally be sworn in, the secrecy of the last two months, and the suddenness of his return, doesn’t really do anything to clarify what will happen going forward, especially as it relates to the institutionalization of his reforms. Will he directly govern and attempt to reassert control over the reform process? Will he serve as a symbol for the programs while Madero performs the dirty work of daily governance? Will the opposition solidify or crumble in the face of his return? As is often the case with Chávez, the questions come more easily than the answers do, though no doubt the coming months will provide some answers.
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