News Column

Venezuelan Opposition Leader Says Government Lying About Chavez

March 1, 2013

Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles hit the government hard on the social network Twitter Friday, accusing it of lying about the health of President Hugo Chavez and his ongoing battle with cancer.

"(Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas) Maduro has lied about the president's health, it's a lie that he met with him for 5 hours, in the coming days the country will know the truth," Capriles tweeted.

"Let's see how they explain to the country in the coming days all the lies they have told about the president's condition," he said.

The left-wing populist Chavez is currently undergoing treatment for an unspecified form of abdominal cancer at the Military Hospital in Caracas.

Maduro on Friday slammed Spanish newspaper ABC and Colombian radio network Caracol for a "destabilizing" rumour campaign about Chavez's health, "in the knowledge that such treatment is delicate, that one needs to go little by little and to respect the human being who is undergoing treatment."

"Chavez is being harassed by the bourgeoisie. They permanently harass and attack him. How far are you going to go, bourgeois? Stop your attacks, the rumours. Stop using a delicate situation to try to cause destabilization," he said in Caracas.

Chavez returned to Venezuela last month after undergoing surgery and treatment in Cuba, and the government recently said he was breathing through a tracheal tube, which prevented him from speaking, due to a respiratory infection.

Chavez, who has been president for 14 years, was reelected in October for another six years. He was unable to attend his inauguration, which had been scheduled for January and has been postponed indefinitely. Since mid-December, he has spent more than three months in Havana recovering from his fourth operation for cancer, which was diagnosed in mid-2011.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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