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Chávez returns to Venezuela in ailing health

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 22nd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has returned to Venezuela after undergoing cancer surgery in Cuba. The ailing leader still suffers from respiratory problems in his two-year battle with cancer. Recent news from the Venezuelan government regarding the leader's health has been uniformly somber.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to an official statement read on national TV by Information Minister Ernesto Villegas, "respiratory inefficiencies that emerged in the post-operative period persist and his tendency hasn't been favorable." It was the first official communiqué on Chavez's condition since his return to Venezuela on Monday.

According to the statement, Chávez is being treated in a Caracas military hospital, and was in touch with family members and friends, along with his political team and his medical staff. "The president holds firm to Christ, with the maximum desire to live," the communiqué said.

The 58-year-old Venezuelan leader has governed the South American nation for 14 years. He has yet to be sworn in for a new six-year term following his re-election in October. The ceremony was supposed to take place last month, but the National Assembly agreed to postpone the inauguration because of his medical condition.

There is widespread speculation that Chávez might be sworn in at his hospital bed this weekend, perhaps to relinquish power.

Photos released last week that show Chávez in his Havana hospital bed, flanked by his two daughters, have been pored over by conspiracy theorists.

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