July 2 - Chavez loyalists gather to support their leader's quick recovery from cancer. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Hundreds of people gathered in Caracas Friday to show their support for ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Chavez announced earlier that he had undergone surgery in Cuba to remove cancerous cells. Although he says he is making a full recovery, speculation remains about about a possible power vacuum or political infighting. Chavez did not say when he would be back from Cuba, nor did he specify the treatment he is receiving, leading to rumours the malignant cells may have spread, requiring chemotherapy. Opposition leaders, seeking to rally around a unity candidate to be picked in February for the 2012 presidential vote, may see the news as a sign Chavez is weakened. The absence of the charismatic leader -- who has projected his leftist views across Latin America and the world -- have raised doubts about his ability to campaign for a presidential election in 2012.