Chavez suffering new respiratory infection

Venezuelan government describes ailing president's health as "very delicate" in brief statement.

    Chavez suffering new respiratory infection
    Chavez has not been seen in public, aside from one set of photos, since surgery in December [Reuters]

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's breathing problems have worsened and he is suffering a new, severe respiratory infection after cancer surgery in Cuba, the government has said.

    Information minister Ernesto Villegas said in a brief statement on Tuesday that the 58-year-old's condition continued to be "very delicate".

    "Today there is a worsening of respiratory function. Related to his depressed immune system, there is now a new, severe infection," he said in the statement, read from the Caracas military hospital where Chavez is being treated.

    "The president has been receiving high-impact chemotherapy, along with other complementary treatments... his general condition continues to be very delicate."

    Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from Caracas, said that Villegas had said that the president is "clinging to his faith in Christ". 

    Chavez has not been seen in public, apart from one set of photos, since a December 11 cancer operation in Cuba. 

    In January, the country's top court endorsed postponing his inauguration and ruled that the president and his deputy would continue in their roles, despite opposition complaints.

    Hundreds of students and other critics of his government staged a protest earlier this week to demand more information about his health. 

    Vice President Nicolas Maduro, his chosen successor, said over the weekend that Chavez was still sending instructions about political and economic policies.

    Officials say Chavez has been in hospital since returning from Cuba two weeks ago.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera And Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.