Hugo Chavez is nothing if not politically savvy–he's doing what the Republican Party in the US has been doing for the last 20 years with increasing regularity–using Jesus Christ and God in his predominately Catholic country to garner the favor of the people, and he just might mean it–he's got cancer. The Huffington Post adds:
Now in the thick of a prolonged battle against cancer, however, the leftist leader is drawing inspiration more than ever from a spiritual leader: Jesus Christ.
Chavez has been praying for divine intervention during increasingly infrequent appearances on television, holding up a crucifix while vowing to overcome his illness. He says living with cancer has made him "more Christian," talk that has coincided with speculation by some Venezuelans that cancer might cut short his bid for re-election in October.
Chavez's voice cracked with emotion as he bade farewell to aides and supporters in Caracas on April 30 before leaving for what he said would be his final round of cancer treatment in Cuba.
"I'm sure our Christ will do it again, continuing making the miracle," Chavez said as he raised his cross to his lips and kissed it, prompting applause from an audience of aides.
If Chavez survives cancer, political analysts say his increasing religiosity could pay election-year dividends in a country where Catholicism remains influential.
"Given that he cannot hide the illness, but he can hide its characteristics and danger, he's decided to take as much advantage of it as he can, and one advantage is the symbolic and religious issue," said Luis Vicente Leon, a Venezuelan pollster and analyst. "He'll present himself as the chosen one, the man who has been cured and healed by the Lord to continue governing the country."
Protestant denominations are growing in Venezuela as well. And, of course, Chavez claims his faith is real–and that it has its roots in his boyhood.
If chosen by God to live, Chavez will join the multitude of American GOP politicians who believe they have been "chosen" by God to run for leadership of their country, including Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, George W. Bush, Rick Santorum, et. Al.
We'll have to see what God decides about Chavez.