Venezuela’s Chavez “Entering New Phase” of Recovery
Mérida – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is entering a new phase of his recovery, according to Vice President Nicolas Maduro.
Chavez has been out of the public light since his cancer operation in Cuba in December, his fourth in eighteen months.
Recent health updates from the Venezuelan government have sent positive signals, with the latest official communication describing the Venezuelan president’s recovery as “favourable”.
Yesterday, Vice President Maduro announced that Chavez was “leaving the post-operatory [phase] and is going to enter into a new phase of treatment that is in a process of evaluation”.
He further commented that Chavez “is stabilising in all respects, the functioning of his organs, he is fully conscious, and he has ever more vital strength to enter the next phase, which will be announced by official sources”.
Last Friday, a group of doctors called “Doctors for Life” released a medical report in which they claimed to “refute various versions that have been propagated about Chavez’s clinical state” in national and international media outlets.
The report, which was posted on the webpage of the government’s ministry of communication, claimed that Chavez was entering a “final recovery phase” and that by 5 February he would be ready to leave hospital. It further stated that the “complex abdominal surgery” undergone by Chavez was only performed on patients “without metastasis”.
In further comments about Chavez yesterday, Maduro said that “sooner rather than later we’re going to have the president with us, meanwhile…here (in Venezuela) there is a work team that he has formed and is governing and working with the people”.
Speaking in an interview on the television program “Jose Vicente Today”, the Vice President added that in his conversations with Chavez, “His mood is the same as always… He’ s still got his good humour and permanent smile”.
Opposition cancel march
Meanwhile, the Venezuelan opposition have cancelled their planned march in Caracas this Wednesday.
The march was called to protest a supposed “violation” of the constitution, which the opposition claim occurred when Chavez did not return to Venezuela for his presidential inauguration ceremony on 10 January. The Supreme Court had previously ruled that the delay in Chavez’s swearing-in was legal.
The opposition’s Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition blamed the cancellation on the decision of pro-government parties and movements to also march in the capital on Wednesday, accusing the government of “attacking the freedom that all Venezuelans have to celebrate such an important date for democracy”.
The opposition will still hold a downsized indoor event in Caracas on Wednesday 23 January, a date which marks the fall of the Marcos Jimenez dictatorship in 1958.
Meanwhile, the pro-Chavez movement is planning to hold a huge rally in Caracas to celebrate the day and to support their leader, as well as holding events around the country.
Juan Carlos Dugarte, a leader in the government’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), argued that the opposition’s motives for cancelling their march had more to do with fears of a low turnout.
“They (the opposition) have every right and freedom to demonstrate, no march of theirs is going to be obstructed. The true reason for doing it in a reduced space is that they don’t have the mobilisation capacity, because they’re divided,” he said.
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