Absent but omnipresent, Chavez a powerful symbol

A photograph of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, left, flanks one of Jesus Christ, held by a Chavez supporter at a rally in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013. The cult of personality that Chavez long nurtured has been flourishing like never before as he confronts an increasingly difficult struggle against the mysterious cancer that afflicts him. The connections between Chavez and Jesus are surfacing more often, having begun with Chavez himself praying to God on television, and repeatedly kissing a crucifix. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — While Venezuela's sick president recuperates from surgery behind closed doors in Cuba, at home he is more visible than ever.