Jan 08 2013

HuffPost: Hugo Chavez Health ‘Stable,’ Venezuela Government Says

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in a “stable situation” in a Cuban hospital receiving treatment due to a severe respiratory infection, his government said Monday.

Information Minister Ernesto Villegas provided the update, saying the government is in “permanent contact” with Chavez’s medical team and relatives who are with him in Havana where he underwent surgery for cancer. His report came as other government officials reiterated their stance that the president need not be sworn in for a new term as scheduled this Thursday and could instead have his inauguration at a later date.

“The president is in a stable situation in relation with that described in the most recent report,” Villegas said, reading a statement on television. “His treatment is being applied constantly and rigorously, and the patient is assimilating it.”

Villegas didn’t give details about the treatment, which the government says is for a “respiratory deficiency.” Independent medical experts say that description suggests Chavez may be breathing with the aid of a ventilator, but also say that is not necessarily the case based on the vague account given.

Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church on Monday criticized the government for failing to provide more details about Chavez’s condition nearly a month after his operation.

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