Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is fighting for re-election in October even as he recovers from cancer treatment.
For months there have been rumours about the seriousness of his condition, and the opposition is seeking to make the most of them.
His supporters argue that a frank debate has to begin on how to preserve the social advances of the last 12 years for when Chavez does finally step down, and alternatives to replace him.
Al Jazeera's Shihab Rattansi reports from Merida.
Source: Al Jazeera