File photo of followers of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez painting a poster in support of him in Caracas

 
File photo of followers of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez painting a poster in support of him in Caracas
Followers of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez paint a poster in support of him in Caracas in this December 14, 2012 file photograph. Chavez, who is fighting to recover from cancer surgery, has been the dominant figure in Venezuela since he won power 14 years ago, forging a passionate following based on his charisma, humble birth and massive social spending. His new absence in Cuba - and the possibility that after his fourth operation in 18 months he could die or be unable to continue as president - has sent a shockwave through supporters. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Files