1st LD: Chavez's health status has deteriorated: minister
CARACAS, Mar 04, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
Venezuelan Communication and
Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said on Monday night that
President Hugo Chavez's health has deteriorated and remains
Villegas announced on Venezuela's national TV broadcaster VTV
that a "worsening of respiratory function" had happened to the
president, which is motivated by clinical immune depression.
The minister said that the president "has a new and severe
respiratory infection" and stressed that the general health state
of Chavez continues to be "very delicate" as he is "undergoing
chemotherapy with high impact."
Villegas also took the opportunity to denounce the sectors
"seeking to destabilize" the country by taking advantage of the
illness of the president.
The 58-year-old Chavez has been in power for 14 years. Last
October, he was re-elected to a third six-year term, but could not
be sworn in as scheduled on Jan. 10 due to his serious health
After seeking medical treatment for 70 days in Cuba, he
returned to Venezuela on Feb. 18.
However, he has been unable to appear before the public since
then, except in a number of pictures published by the government
which were taken in Cuba and showed he was lying in bed in the
company of his two daughters.
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