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Chavez aware of his `complex state`: Venezuelan VP

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 - 15:23

Zeenews Bureau

Caracas: Amid ongoing rumours about the fluctuating health condition of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez after his cancer surgery in Cuba, his deputy Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday that the president faces "a complex and delicate situation" and that he was aware of it.

Seeking to diffuse speculations about Chavez’s health, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised interview that when he talked with the president and looked at his face, he seemed to have "the same strength as always."

Maduro said that he had met with the president twice, spoken with him and planned to return to Venezuela on Wednesday.

Urging Venezuelans to stop indulging in rumors, Maduro said that Chavez was fully conscious of his complications and that he wants to keep the nation informed.

"He`s totally conscious of the complexity of his post-operative state and he expressly asked us ... to keep the nation informed always, always with the truth, as hard as it may be in certain circumstances," Maduro said.

He said that Chavez faces "a complex and delicate situation" but Maduro added, "All the time we`ve been hoping for his positive evolution. Sometimes he has had light improvements, sometimes stationary situations," Maduro said in the prerecorded interview.

Chavez has not been seen or heard from since the Dec. 11 operation, and officials have reported a series of ups and downs in his recovery — the most recent, on Sunday, announcing that new complications from a respiratory infection had put the president in a "delicate" state.

Though Maduro did not provide any new details about Chavez`s condition, he sought to discourage speculations among countrymen saying rumors are being spread due to "the hatred of the enemies of Venezuela."

Political opponents of Chavez have complained that the government hasn`t told the country nearly enough about his health.

Critics in Venezuela sounded off on Twitter while the interview was aired, some saying Maduro sounded like a mouthpiece for the Cuban government. In their online messages, many Chavez opponents criticized a dearth of information provided by Maduro, accusing him of withholding key details about Chavez`s condition. Opposition politicians have demanded that the government provide the country with a full medical report.

Even some of his supporters said on Tuesday that they wished they knew more.

"We`re distressed by El Comandante`s health," said Francisca Fuentes, who was walking through a downtown square with her grandchildren. "I think they aren`t telling us the whole truth. It`s time for them to speak clearly. It`s like when you have a sick relative and the doctor lies to you every once in a while."

Chavez has been fighting an undisclosed type of pelvic cancer since June 2011. He has declined to reveal the precise location of the tumors that have been surgically removed. The president announced on Dec. 8, two month after winning re-election, that his cancer had come back despite previous surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Jimenez and many other Venezuelans say it seems increasingly unlikely that Chavez can be sworn in as scheduled Jan. 10 for his new term.

Maduro didn`t discuss the upcoming inauguration plans, saying only that he`s hopeful Chavez will improve.

Chavez has been in office since 1999 and was re-elected in October, three months after he announced that his latest tests showed him to be cancer-free. If he dies or is unable to continue in office, the Venezuelan Constitution says a new election should be held within 30 days.

With Agency Inputs

First Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 - 13:18
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