Venezuelans celebrated 200 years of independence on Tuesday. And while hundreds of thousands attended the parade, President Hugo Chavez did not.
Chavez has just returned from Cuba where he received treatment for cancer, and it seems that his absence has raised questions about his health and the political future of Venezuela.
But why has information about the president's poor health been kept confidential all this time, and why is he so reluctant to delegate power?
Inside Story, with presenter Sohail Rahman, discusses with Celia Szusterman, a lecturer in Latin American Studies at the University of Westminster, and Eva Golinger, an attorney and author of several books on Venezuela including The Chavez Code: Cracking US intervention in Venezuela.
This episode of Inside Story aired on Wednesday, July 6, 2011.