‘Hugo Chavez suffering from respiratory problems’



Zeenews Bureau

Caracas: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is still suffering from respiratory problems, after his operation in Cuba more than two months ago as he continues to battle cancer, the Venezuelan government has said.

Information Minister, Ernesto Villegas informed about Chavez’s health with a brief statement on on national TV.

Chavez returned home last week after a two-month cancer treatment in Cuba. The 58-year-old leader underwent cancer surgery in Cuba Dec 11.

Chavez was re-elected to a new six-year term in October, and his inauguration, originally scheduled for January 10, was indefinitely postponed by lawmakers in a decision that the Supreme Court upheld despite complaints by the opposition. Some speculated that with Chavez back, he could finally be sworn in.

Chavez's precise condition and the sort of cancer treatments he is undergoing remain a mystery, and speculation has grown recently that he may not be able to stay on as president.

The Venezuelan Constitution says that if a president dies or steps down, a new vote must be called and held within 30 days. Chavez raised that possibility before he left for Cuba in December by saying that if necessary, Maduro should run in a new vote to replace him.