Rumors persist about the health of Hugo Chavez

Some outlets like The Telegraph are reporting that Chavez has suffered kidney failure. A Latin American newspaper, translated by Fausta Wertz, says it's a bone marrow problem:

El Nuevo Herald also reports that:

On the other hand, the source stated that Chavez suffered from medullary aplasia, the disappearance of blood-producing cells in the bone marrow, which complicated his medical state. According to doctors, medullary aplasia can be total, affecting the production of red and white blood cells, or partial, which affects the production of one type of blood cells.

Fausta is also reporting that the Venezuelan government is denying any problems with Dear Leader's health beyond the cancer he is being treated for in Cuba:

Venezuela's Information Minister Andres Izarra appeared to deny the report in a posting on the micro-blogging website Twitter.

"Those who should be admitted are the journalists of the Nuevo Herald, except into a madhouse (instead of a hospital)," Izarra tweeted, without providing further details.

Chavez himself called in to a TV show to say he's fine, although he didn't say if he was in the hospital or not.

The US ambassador said last week that we should start preparing for a world without Chavez. That seems reasonable, although the power struggle in Venezuela once he's gone is going to be fierce. It may come down to whoever has the backing of Cuba.

One thing is fairly certain: relations with the US won't change until the Chavistas are tossed out of power.