Venezuela's Chavez aware his condition complicated: Vice President

CARACAS Wed Jan 2, 2013 8:54am IST

A supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez holds a picture of him, as she attends a ceremony in Caracas December 31, 2012. . REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

A supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez holds a picture of him, as she attends a ceremony in Caracas December 31, 2012. .

Credit: Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Related Topics

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 (January 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 December 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 January 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. (Writing by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Eric Walsh)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Fuelling Change

REUTERS SHOWCASE

No West Indies Tour

No West Indies Tour

India suspends all future tours with West Indies  Full Article 

Pistorius Sentenced

Pistorius Sentenced

Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years for Steenkamp killing  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Nigeria declared Ebola-free, holds lessons for others.  Full Article 

Inside Kobani

Inside Kobani

Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to defenders.  Full Article 

Apple Earnings

Apple Earnings

Apple's iPhone sales beat Street but iPad volumes slide.  Full Article 

Lingering Issue

Lingering Issue

Unfinished war in Sri Lanka threatens paradise regained.  Full Article 

De la Renta Dead

De la Renta Dead

Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta dead at 82   Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage