Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Venezuela says Chavez health 'positive'

Official statement says president's health is improving, though former VP says Chavez "fighting for his life."
The health of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has evolved in a "favourable" way in recent days, though he still requires treatment for respiratory failure, communications minister Ernesto Villegas said.
"Despite his delicate health state since his complex surgery on December 11, his general health has improved in recent days and the president is in strict compliance with his medical treatment," Villegas said in a statement broadcast on radio and television on Sunday.
Former vice president Elias Jaua, however, said earlier on Sunday that Chavez was "fighting for his life" and that "the situation is complex and delicate, but it is true that Hugo Chavez has fought and is fighting for his life."
Supporters of the ailing president held rallies across Venezuela on Sunday and defended a controversial court ruling allowing the indefinite delay of the socialist leader's inauguration.
Waving photos and banners, and wearing the trademark red T-shirts of the "Chavistas," as his supporters are known, hundreds gathered for assemblies in the capital and several other states.
"Get well president! Here we are waiting for you with open arms," cried Chavez supporter Clara Pacheco to government television cameras, which covered the rallies extensively throughout the day.

The 'Bolivarian revolution'
Despite opposition claims that the constitution required that the inauguration be held on 10 January, the mostly pro-Chavez congress voted to delay the swearing-in ceremony.
The Supreme Court endorsed the postponement, saying the president could take the oath of office before the court at a later date.
Elias Jaua, a close Chavez confidante, urged a crowd of government supporters gathered inside a packed Caracas auditorium to safeguard Chavez's "Bolivarian Revolution," a political movement taking its name from 19th-century independence hero Simon Bolivar.
Many government opponents claim the court's decision violated the constitution.
The opposition plans to present a case before the Costa Rica-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights to challenge the decision.
Opposition politicians are also demanding more information regarding the health of Chavez.
The government says Chavez, who won re-election to a fresh six-year term in October, is fighting a severe respiratory infection in a Cuban hospital.
The president underwent his fourth cancer-related surgery on 11 December. He has not spoken publicly or been seen since the operation.

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