Venezuela’s Chavez Undergoing Renewed Chemotherapy Treatments

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolás Maduro announced on Friday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has begun new rounds of chemotherapy treatments after an improvement in his overall condition after cancer surgery.

By Chris Carlson
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Venezuelan Vice President Nicolás Maduro (Prensa Miraflores)
Venezuelan Vice President Nicolás Maduro (Prensa Miraflores)

Maracaibo, March 3rd, 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan Vice President Nicolás Maduro announced on Friday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has begun new rounds of chemotherapy treatments after an improvement in his overall condition after cancer surgery.

Maduro made the announcement on Friday night after attending a Catholic Mass at the military hospital where Chavez is being treated. Upon leaving the hospital the vice president explained that the treatments were for the cancer that has affected Chavez’s pelvic zone.

“There was an overall improvement in his condition, and so the doctors and Chavez decided to begin the complementary treatments, which are the chemotherapy treatments that are applied to patients after the operation, just as he received chemotherapy and radiation therapy after his operations in 2011,” said Maduro.

Maduro emphasized once again that the treatments are “difficult”, but that Chavez is confronting them with strength.

He also revealed new details about Chavez’s condition shortly after his December operation, which he called a “high risk situation” after the president’s health deteriorated in late December.

“On December 29th his situation got much worse, because his postoperative care was very difficult, and on December 30th we had to report that his condition had worsened and that he was in a high-risk situation,” said Maduro, referring to the respiratory insufficiency suffered by Chavez after his operation.

Maduro also insisted that President Chavez continues to make decisions and to meet with members of his cabinet. The vice president explained that although Chavez has a tracheostomy tube in his throat that makes it difficult for him to speak, he assured that the president continues to communicate with his ministers in writing and through “other ways that he has come up with”.

“He is taking his time, but just like always there are vital decisions that only he makes, fundamental decisions, and that’s how we are doing it,” he said.

Opposition Criticisms

Opposition forces have increased their criticisms of the government’s handling of the situation in recent days, accusing Maduro and others of lying about Chavez’s condition, and demanding to know the truth about the president’s health.

Miranda Governor Henrique Capriles Radonski insisted on Friday that Maduro’s statements are false, and claimed to have information to prove it.

“Maduro is lying about the President’s health. It is a lie that he met with him for five hours. In the coming days the people will know the truth,” he said via Twitter on Friday.

“We will see in the coming days how they are going to explain all their lies about the President’s situation,” he warned.

Capriles left for the United States on Friday, along with two other opposition leaders, for reasons that have not been publically announced.

According to information provided to pro-Chavez commentator Mario Silva, the three leaders left on a flight to Miami on Friday, information that Capriles’ Twitter comments later corroborated.

Government officials assure that they have information that the opposition leaders are meeting with right-wing leaders from the US and Venezuela to receive instructions and funding for their activities in Venezuela.

“[Capriles] is in Miami meeting with those who are conspiring against our country’s economy, with the fugitive bankers who give him money and those who are behind a plan against Venezuela,” said Maduro yesterday.

Maduro also criticized the private media for not criticizing or scrutinizing the activities of Capriles as the governor of Miranda state.

“What is the Governor of Miranda doing running around in the United States?” he asked.

“Why is it that you all never even touch this prince of the bourgeoisie? Why don’t you criticize him for abandoning and destroying the state of Miranda, which has the highest crime and murder rate in the country and its roads are falling apart. Why do none of the local, regional or national media report this?” said Maduro.

“You all are accomplices to this, just as you were accomplices to the corrupt political class of the pre-Chavez era, because you did the same thing. You protected them, without saying anything, until the people were fed up and they threw them out,” he said.

Maduro assured that Capriles is searching for financial and political support in the United States, and insisted that individuals like Otto Reich, Roger Noriega, and John Negroponte are those who control the Venezuelan opposition.

“In the opposition those who give the money are those who are in charge,” he said.