Published January 07, 2013
Antonio Vázquez Alba, who calls himself Mexico's "grand warlock," says the cards tell him that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez will begin his next term on Jan. 10 but will die three months later.
"Chávez has been kept alive for the last six months by his vanity, by his thirst for power, because he doesn't want to lose that position ... He will take power again but after that, unfortunately, it won't be three months before he dies," the fortune teller said he has seen in the cards.
In what has become one of Mexico's most bizarre New Year's traditions for the last three decades, followers await for the country's so-called Grand Warlock's latest round of predictions.
On tap for 2013, according to the Grand Warlock: a new war in the Middle East, chaos in Venezuela and a tough year for Obama.
Luckily for Chávez, Vázquez Alba has a record of being incorrect. Among his past predictions: Fidel Castro would die in 2008. Germany would win the 2006 World Cup. Barack Obama would lose to Mitt Romney.
Vázquez Alba normally announces his predictions at the beginning of the year. He usually mixes them with obvious political prospects and with auguries that echo opinion polls.
During his traditional New Year's press conference, "the grand master," as his followers call him, also said that, when the Venezuelan president dies, "a crisis will descend on Venezuela... many changes and a total revolution."
That situation, he said, will principally effect, "both directly and indirectly," Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina.
The warlock also said cards showed him that the death of Jenni Rivera, the Latin music superstar who was killed Dec. 9 in a plane crash, was not an accident.
"The plane would not have exploded the way it did if it hadn't been carrying a bomb," he said.
Investigators have not revealed any evidence the plane exploded in the air.
Chávez, who was operated in Cuba on Dec. 11 for a cancer that was first diagnosed in June 2011, is experiencing respiratory deficiency caused by a "severe" lung infection.
The president won re-election in October but is hospitalized in Cuba and it remains unclear if he will be able to return to Venezuela in time to be inaugurated for another term on Jan. 10.
Contains reporting by EFE and The Associated Press.