News / Americas

    Venezuelan VP: Chavez Undergoing 'Tough' Chemotherapy

    Venezuela's Vice President Nicolas Maduro, left, and Diosdado Cabello, president of Venezuela's National Assembly, gesture to supporters as they arrive at the National Assembly for the state-of-the-nation address in Caracas, Feb. 28, 2013.
    Venezuela's Vice President Nicolas Maduro, left, and Diosdado Cabello, president of Venezuela's National Assembly, gesture to supporters as they arrive at the National Assembly for the state-of-the-nation address in Caracas, Feb. 28, 2013.
    Reuters
    Ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been undergoing "tougher" new treatment for cancer, including chemotherapy at the military hospital where he has been for the past two weeks, his vice president said.        

    Speaking after a Catholic Mass to pray for Chavez's health, Nicolas Maduro described how the socialist president had personally given the order to leave Cuba in mid-February, two months after his latest cancer surgery there.

    "He said, 'I've taken the decision to return to Venezuela, I'm going to enter a new phase of complementary treatments, tougher and more intense, I want to be in Caracas,'" Maduro  said in the comments late on Friday.

    "Do you know what the complementary treatments are? They are the chemotherapies applied to patients after operations," he added outside a chapel in the Caracas military hospital.

    Apart from one set of photos showing Chavez in a Havana hospital bed, he has not been seen or heard from in public since the Dec. 11 surgery in Cuba, his fourth operation since the disease was detected in mid-2011.

    Chavez had previous rounds of chemo- and radiotherapy, which at times left him bald and bloated. He twice wrongly declared himself cured.

    VP Tells Country to Beware "Rumor-mongers"

    Furious at rumors swirling all week that Chavez may have died, Maduro said chemotherapy was only possible because his condition had actually improved in January after a delicate few weeks following the December operation.

    Chavez's No. 2 urged Venezuelans to be on guard against "rumor-mongers" and "destabilizers," saying right-wing politicians in the United States were in league with Venezuela's opposition to spread lies about his boss."

    "Sadly, the opposition live in a world of hatred, wrongdoing, bad feelings and bad desires," Maduro said, adding that Chavez had become sick from overworking.

    "He neglected his own body to give our people his work, his love, his life," Maduro said, confirming Chavez was still using a tracheal tube to breathe and was communicating with family and aides through written messages and other "creative" means.

    Opposition: 'They Must Show Him'

    Opposition leaders have accused Maduro of lying about Chavez's condition. Several dozen anti-government students have chained themselves up in public to demand proof that the president is alive and in Venezuela.

    "We challenge Nicolas Maduro to say where Hugo Chavez is. They must show him," opposition leader Pablo Medina said during a visit on Saturday to the students in Caracas.

    Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez smiles in between his daughters, Rosa Virginia (R) and Maria while recovering from cancer surgery in Havana in this photograph released by the Ministry of Information on Feb. 15, 2013.Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez smiles in between his daughters, Rosa Virginia (R) and Maria while recovering from cancer surgery in Havana in this photograph released by the Ministry of Information on Feb. 15, 2013.
    x
    Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez smiles in between his daughters, Rosa Virginia (R) and Maria while recovering from cancer surgery in Havana in this photograph released by the Ministry of Information on Feb. 15, 2013.
    Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez smiles in between his daughters, Rosa Virginia (R) and Maria while recovering from cancer surgery in Havana in this photograph released by the Ministry of Information on Feb. 15, 2013.
    Chavez's family and supporters are smarting at the crescendo of rumors that surfaced this week in news media and on the Internet. They have ranged from a claim by a Panamanian diplomat that Chavez's family had switched his life support off, to a Spanish newspaper report he had gone to die on an island refuge.

    "Let's see, let's see, gentlemen in the laboratory, what rumors have you prepared for us today?" said Information Minister Ernesto Villegas.

    Chavez's daughter, Maria Gabriela, complained about the media scrutiny of her face during the Mass on Friday night. Her somber expression was interpreted by some on Twitter as a sign her father was near death.

    "I can't be happy if my father is ill ... In the next Mass, I'll have to dance and laugh," she tweeted.

    Should Chavez die or step down, a vote would be held within 30 days, probably pitting Maduro against opposition leader and state governor Henrique Capriles for leadership of a nation that holds the world's biggest oil reserves. Capriles lost to Chavez in last year's election.

    The stakes are also high for the region. Chavez has been the most vocal Latin American critic of Washington  and financed hefty aid programs for leftist governments from Cuba to Bolivia.

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Joe from: Montana
    March 02, 2013 11:49 AM
    This is one step closer to a President Maduro of Venezuela.

    by: antfreire from: Puerto Rico
    March 02, 2013 8:37 AM
    Good News!! President Hugo Chavez is in much better condition since he arrived in Venezuela. According to the last reports, from the five cancer tumors that the president has only three are terminal.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.

    More Americas News

    Canada Ending Airstrikes in Iraq, Syria

    Canadian PM Trudeau said a campaign of airstrikes is useful for bringing short-term gains, but not for long-term stability

    Cuban Baseball Stars, the Gurriel Brothers, Abandon Team

    A record 150 baseball players defected last year; Gurriels deemed exceptional loss because of skill, fame and perceived loyalty

    Colombia: Rebels Must Free Hostages Before Any Peace Talks

    National Liberation Army (ELN) has been holding civilian Ramon Jose Cabrales, of eastern Norte de Santander province, for five months

    Canada to End Bombing Missions in Iraq, Syria

    Public opinion polls show Canadians are sharply divided over the role of their country's military in the fight against Islamic State

    USOC: US Athletes Should Stay Home if Worried About Zika

    US Olympic Committee tells sports federations that athletes and staff concerned for their health over virus should consider not going to Rio Games

    Haiti's President Leaves Office Without a Successor

    Embattled Haitian President Michel Martelly left office Sunday as required by Haiti's constitution, ending his 5-year term with no one elected to replace him