Topic: Chavez’s Cancer Battle
MOSCOW, January 2 (RIA Novosti) – Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday rejected media speculations that President Hugo Chavez’s health was deteriorating after a new cancer surgery in Cuba.
The Venezuelan president’s handpicked successor said in an interview with the Latin American satellite TV network Telesur he had visited Chavez in hospital twice in the past two days and the president was conscious and aware of his “complex” condition after a difficult surgery in Havana.
Maduro angrily rejected media speculations that Chavez’s health was failing and he had just several days to live and was unconscious after the operation.
Maduro said Chavez gripped his hand energetically as they discussed political and economic developments in Venezuela.
Chavez, 58, who has ruled Venezuela for 13 years, underwent four operations for cancer and four courses of chemotherapy in Cuba and Venezuela within a year. He underwent his fourth surgery to remove cancerous tissue in Cuba on December 11.
He is scheduled to be inaugurated to a new six-year presidential term on January 10, 2013.
Venezuela’s Constitution requires that new presidential elections be held within 30 days, if Chavez is not fit enough to be sworn in. Government officials loyal to Chavez have said, however, the inauguration could take place at a later date.
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