Analyst Cynthia Arnson of the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington said the new surgery seriously complicates Chavez's re-election prospects.
"It's now clear that Chavez's cancer is far from cured. Chavez's illness — his ability to campaign as well as to govern — is a major factor in the race. It erodes the aura of invincibility as well as inevitability that Chavez has always tried to create," she said.
The governing party will also be vexed as it lacks an alternative candidate with Chavez's charisma and popular following, Arnson said. She predicted the development will make "a tight race even tighter" against Capriles.
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