Venezuelan Government: Chavez Recovery “Favourable”

The Venezuelan government has described Chavez’s clinical progress as “favourable” in its latest update on the Venezuelan president’s recovery from his operation for cancer last month.


Mérida, 14th January 2013 ( – The Venezuelan government has described Chavez’s clinical progress as “favourable” in its latest update on the Venezuelan president’s recovery from his operation for cancer last month.

The official communication, read out in a national broadcast yesterday by communication minister Ernesto Villegas, took a cautiously optimistic tone toward Chavez’s state of health.

“Despite his [Chavez’s] delicate state of health after a complex surgical intervention last 11 December, in recent days his clinical progress has been favourable,” it said.

The message further stated that the respiratory infection from which the president has been suffering “is under control, although the Commander – President still requires specific measures to overcome the respiratory infection”.

Chavez has been in Cuba recovering since the operation, his fourth for cancer in eighteen months.

He was unable to attend his presidential inauguration ceremony last Thursday; however the Supreme Court had previously ruled that the ceremony could take place at a later date.

There have been around thirty official health updates since Chavez’s operation. Yesterday’s message highlighted that “the president is conscious, in communication with his family [and] the medical team that is attending him, [and] is maintaining himself updated with information of interest”.

Visits to Havana

The tone of the announcement reflects comments made last Friday by the president’s brother, Adan Chavez, after visiting the Venezuelan president in Havana.

President Chavez “continues assimilating his treatment well and his recovery advances every day,” said Adan Chavez, who is also governor of Barinas state. He further described rumours that the president was in a coma as “totally false” and part of a “psychological war” by “media corporation” aiming to create “chaos and anxiety” inside of Venezuela.

Venezuelan vice president Nicolas Maduro has been in Havana since Friday, to see Chavez and to meet with Cuban president Raul Castro and his brother Fidel.

The three held a meeting yesterday to discuss a recent summit with ministers of the ALBA and Petrocaribe alliances, of which Cuba and Venezuela form an integral part.

Venezuelan National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello, oil minister Rafael Ramirez, and attorney general Cilia Flores also participated.

Also, Argentinian president Cristina Kirchner and Peruvian president Ollanta Humala visited Havana on Friday, principally on official business in Cuba, but also to enquire about Chavez’s health.

Kirchner announced that she was to meet with Chavez’s family and later confirmed via twitter that she had left a bible “in solidarity” with Chavez, however did not say whether she had been able to meet with Chavez directly.

“Revolutionary Assemblies”

Back in Venezuela, the government’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), and the allied Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) coalition of social movements, held a series of assemblies over the weekend to support Chavez.

The “Assemblies of Revolutionary Militants in Solidarity with Chavez”, held throughout the country, also aimed to raise awareness of the contents of the national constitution, especially articles dealing with the presidential inauguration and the declaration of absences.

Organisers indicated that this exercise of mobilisation and consciousness-raising was in reaction to the stance of the right-wing opposition, who claim that the delay in Chavez’s inauguration amounts to a “violation” of the constitution and a “coup d’état”, and have called for a “massive” demonstration in protest.

In this capacity, Dario Vivas, PSUV Coordinator of Mobilisation, made a call “to all revolutionaries to be very aware, organised, disciplined and united…to defend the nation”.

The Venezuelan Supreme Court’s ruling last Wednesday, that a delay in Chavez’s swearing-in is constitutional, has been backed by the Organization of American States (OAS), and well as being widely supported by other governments in the region.