Venezuela’s Chavez aware his condition complicated: Vice President

CARACAS,  (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is aware that his condition is complicated following a fourth cancer operation in Cuba, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday, as the OPEC nation watches for clues to the socialist leader’s health.

Maduro said he was returning to Venezuela after spending several days alongside Chavez and members of the president’s family. That may help squelch rumors his visit was a sign that the former soldier was near death.

“During these days I was able to see him twice and speak with him,” Maduro said during an interview from Havana with regional television network Telesur. “He is completely conscious of the complexity of his post-operative state and he expressly asked us keep the people informed.”

Maduro, who Chavez last month designated as his successor, said the president had grasped his hand “with immense strength” as they spoke, and asked him about the state of the economy and the swearing-in of newly elected governors.

“After staying in Havana to accompany the family members, we are returning to Caracas tomorrow (Jan. 2) to continue our work,” said Maduro, who visited Chavez with his wife, Attorney General Cilia Flores.

The president suffered unexpected bleeding as result of the complex, six-hour operation on his pelvic region Dec. 11, and later had to fight off a respiratory infection.

On Sunday, Maduro had said the 58-year-old Chavez was suffering a third set of complications as a result of the respiratory problem.

Chavez’s son-in-law, who also serves as science minister, on Monday said the president was in stable condition and urged Venezuelans to ignore rumors of his impending death.

Chavez has never said what type of cancer he has.

His death or resignation due to illness would roil politics in Venezuela, where his personalized brand of oil-financed socialism has made him a hero to the poor majority but a nemesis to critics who call him a dictator.

If Chavez stepped down, new elections would be called within 30 days. Maduro would be the ruling Socialist Party candidate.

Chavez’s condition is also being watched closely by Latin American countries that have benefited from his generous assistance, as well as Wall Street investors who are drawn to Venezuela’s lucrative and heavily traded bonds.

He is due to be sworn in again in Venezuela on Jan. 10 after winning re-election in October. But Socialist Party officials have suggested the ceremony could be delayed if he were unable to return in time.

Opposition leaders say postponing it would show Chavez is not fit to govern and that new elections should be held to choose his replacement.

More in Archives

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning:

Most Read This Week

  1. The medical school sign on the Buddy’s building

    Buddy’s Pool Hall, Night Club closed after business falls

  2. Barry Dataram

    Who is to blame for Dataram escape?

  3. Lakeram Kewlachand

    Gangaram man takes his own life

  4. Wayne Isaacs (New York Post photograph)

    Guyanese-born cop charged with killing unarmed civilian in NY

  5. The Rio Inn at Forshaw and Oronoque Streets

    Teen shot dead outside Rio nightclub

  6. Courtenay Griffith’s home in Lodge that is earmarked to be demolished.

    City to tear down 52 derelict buildings

  7. Barry Dataram

    Absent Barry Dataram found guilty of drug trafficking

  8. The bus in the trench along Homestretch Avenue.

    Bus ends up in Homestretch trench

  9. Ryan Sergeant

    Youth killed, friend wounded after nightclub shooting


Recommended For You