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

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    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.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    El Chapo's Extradition to US Suspended

    Mexican judge rules that more of defense's arguments must be heard before drug lord is sent to US for trial

    North American Leaders to Discuss Climate Change, Trade in Canada

    President Obama, PM Trudeau, and President Peña Nieto will meet in Ottawa Wednesday and are expected to focus on climate change as well as trade

    Chile Seeks to Fight Obesity With New Food Labeling Law

    South American country has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the world

    US Media Scrutinize Wave of Chinese Migrants Illegally Crossing From Mexico

    Reports show US officials caught 663 Chinese nationals illegally crossing from Mexico into San Diego, California, from last October through May

    Mexican Women Victims of Rape, Torture When Arrested

    Amnesty International finds a majority of women arrested in Mexico are sexually abused and tortured in the hours following their arrest

    Cuban Hotel Becomes First to Operate Under US Brand

    Military-owned Gaviota 5th Avenue Hotel, close to Caribbean seafront, is one of two hotels Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide agreed to manage in multimillion-dollar deal with Cuba in March