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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

Program gives street kids not only food and safety, but a chance for a better life without crossing US border
More

US Senate Kills Immigration Bill, House to Vote Friday

Earlier Thursday, Republican-led chamber abandoned plans to vote on $659 million bill that addresses influx of more than 57,000 unaccompanied Central American children
More

Argentina Defaults Again on Debt

Negotiators failed late Wednesday to reach an agreement with New York investment companies to avert the default
More

Cameroon’s Coffee Farmers Blame Government for Production Drops

Cameroon's growers, dealers and experts mourn declines in a nation that once ranked 12th in the world.
More

Argentina, US Creditors Fail to Reach Deal; Default Imminent

This will mark the second time in 13 years Argentina has defaulted on its debt
More

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Officials grapple with ways to deal with problem, provide shelter for thousands of minors among illegal border crossers
More