MIAMI -

The world already knows Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has cancer but according to a Dan Rather source, the dictator is not only sick he’s dying, and quickly. 

Dr. Susan Purcell is the director of the University of Miami’s Center for Hemispheric Policy. She says she isn’t a bit surprised.  

"I became most convinced after he gave a speech a month or so ago where he actually publicly asked God to give him more time to finish his work, which he thinks is great work, and to me was a sign that he was dying," Purcell said.

She says the news means the future of the country is very uncertain. Chavez is up for re-election in the fall and for the first time the opposition has rallied around one candidate: Henrique Capriles.The two are neck and neck in the polls. 

"If he can last long enough until after the elections it would be better for the country," said Julio Moreno, one of the 40,000 Venezuelans who live in South Florida.

Moreno wants Chavez to lose before he dies so that there is no bloodshed in his native country. 

“We can't rule out the possibility of some kind of bloodshed mainly because Chavez has armed his supporters," said Dr. Purcell.

At this point the one certainty is that if Chavez dies while still in office, his vice president Elias Jaua is next in line.