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Venezuela's Chavez Suffers Breathing Problems

A woman stands in a restaurant between posters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, in front of a military hospital, where Chavez is being treated, in Caracas, February 20, 2013.
Officials in Venezuela say President Hugo Chavez is still suffering from respiratory problems following his cancer operation in Cuba in December.

Chavez returned from Cuba Monday and has since been treated in a military hospital in Caracas.

Venezuela's Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said Thursday that Chavez is being treated there for breathing problems. But he said treatment for the president's main illness continues without significant adverse effects for now.

"The breathing insufficiency that emerged post-operation persists, and the tendency has not been favorable, so it is still being treated. Medical treatment for the base illness continues without significant adverse effects for now. The patient remains in communication with relatives and the government political group in close collaboration with the medical work group. The president holds firm to Christ, with absolute will to live and maximum discipline in the treatment of his health,'' said Villegas.

Venezuela's leftist leader has been hospitalized since returning from Cuba Monday. He had his fourth cancer operation in December in Havana.

The government released photos of the president last week, but he has not been seen publicly since his latest operation.