Festive Left Friday Blogging: A friendly visit from Ollanta

Guess who was in Venezuela today:

Yup, Ollanta was in the house today. He met with vice-president Elías Jaua in this video, and gave a short press conference in which he expressed a wish to visit Chavecito, to see him “as a friend”, and to talk at length about the “common past and common future” of Venezuela and Peru. Which, of course, they did:

This visit comes at a delicate time for Chavecito, as he’s between recovering from his emergency surgery, and preparing for chemotherapy and possible radiotherapy in Cuba. Initially there was some talk of his going to Brazil for the treatments, at the same hospital — the Syrio-Lebanese Hospital in São Paulo — where Chavecito’s Paraguayan counterpart, Fernando Lugo, was also successfully treated for lymphoma awhile back. The invitation reportedly came from Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, who is also a cancer survivor herself. But it looks like it will be Cuba after all, and likely Chavecito will visit again with the same Havana doctors who operated on him recently. He has asked the National Assembly to grant him a medical leave, and is bound to receive it.

In the meantime, this nice friendly visit with Ollanta is certainly not inopportune. It will give Chavecito the morale boost he needs as he prepares for the next phase in his treatment, and that can only be a good thing.

Pa’lante, Comandante. ¡Arriba Ollanta!

UPDATE, Saturday, 10:45 am: Here’s the official video of the request to take leave and continue treatment in Cuba. He will be travelling there today.

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