News Column

Chavez Undergoing Chemo, says Venezuelan Gov't

March 2, 2013

Caracas (dpa) - President Hugo Chavez is receiving chemotherapy treatments at a Caracas military hospital in his ongoing battle against cancer, the Venezuelan government confirmed late Friday.

"We must tell you that the treatments Comandante Chavez receives are hard, but that he is a stronger force than these treatments," Vice President Nicolas Maduro said after a mass held for Chavez on the grounds of the hospital.

The secrecy surrounding Chavez has fueled wild speculation in the country over his condition, growing in intensity after recent comments by top officials suggested that his health was deteriorating.

The 58-year-old left-wing populist has undergone four operations for cancer, which was diagnosed in 2011. He spent mid-December though mid-February in Cuba, where he underwent his most recent operation.

He has not been seen in public since the operation, although photos of him smiling in hospital were released.

The Venezuelan government recently said he was breathing through a tracheal tube, which prevented him from speaking, due to a respiratory infection.

President for 14 years, Chavez was re-elected in October for another six years. His illness preventing him from attending his inauguration, which had been scheduled for January and has been postponed indefinitely.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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