Friday, February 15th 2013 - 22:56 UTC

Venezuelan government releases pictures of Chavez next to his daughters

Venezuelans got the first glimpse in more than two months of their ailing president Friday in a series of photos the government released in a televised announcement. In the photos, Hugo Chavez is lying on a blue pillow, flanked by his two daughters, while he reads the Cuban official newspaper Granma. He is smiling, and his face looks a little swollen.

 Hugo Chavez and his daughters, as he holds a copy of Cuba's state newspaper Granma in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Feb. 14.2013

Minister and son in law Arreaza said the president still has difficulties in speaking

In the weeks since having cancer surgery on December 11, officials have been criticized for giving vague, sometimes contradicting updates on the president's health. Chavez, who has shown his strength after past surgeries by calling in to speak on state television, uncharacteristically has not been heard from or seen.

Chavez is temporarily having difficulty speaking after doctors inserted a tracheal tube, Venezuelan Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said.

“Two months after a complicated post-surgery period, the patient remains conscious, fully intellectually aware, in thorough communication with his governing team and on top of the fundamental duties of his post,” Villegas said.

A respiratory infection that the president suffered has been controlled, but he still has some “insufficiency” in his breathing, Villegas said.

The photos were taken Thursday evening at the Cuban hospital where Chavez is being treated, the minister said.

Chavez's allies maintain that he's running his country from Havana, while critics say that the country is in limbo without a leader. Chavez's lengthy absence from Venezuela hasn't stopped his government from making some significant changes.

This week, the country devalued its currency, creating fear among some Venezuelans that the move would mean a sharp spike in the cost of imported goods. The decision came straight from Chavez, officials said.

Speaking to the Telesur network, Venezuela's minister of science, technology and innovation (and son in law), Jorge Arreaza, said Chavez is able to communicate even if he has some difficulty speaking.

“He can communicate,” Arreaza said. “He writes, he can be understood. It's not the voice he is known for, but he can communicate.”
Chavez's voice difficulties are “reversible,” he said.


24 comments Feed

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1 golfcronie (#) Feb 15th, 2013 - 11:08 pm Report abuse
Can't read the date on the paper, could be years earlier, who knows
2 CaptainSilver (#) Feb 15th, 2013 - 11:14 pm Report abuse
Reminds me of Brezchnev
3 Redrow (#) Feb 15th, 2013 - 11:43 pm Report abuse
Looks like a cross between a kidnapping photo (where the paper is deliberately placed to prove the date), and a health insurance advert. Maybe the Iranians helped with the Photoshop. If I was Venezuelan I would definitely be reassured.
4 Frank (#) Feb 16th, 2013 - 12:08 am Report abuse
@1 he can't read the date either... his eyes are closed.....
5 Brasileiro (#) Feb 16th, 2013 - 12:38 am Report abuse
Great Venezuela. You are welcome Chavez! But you are human! I do too! Great life, many objections. Included me!
6 Gordo1 (#) Feb 16th, 2013 - 08:33 am Report abuse
Chávez has never been a slim person and more recently his face had become really “chubby”, perhaps as a result of vigorous treatment for his cancer.

However, since 8/12/2012 he has not made an appearance in public until the publication of these photos in which his face appears almost exactly the same as before the date mentioned - in spite of being close to death and possibly not taking much food for weeks.

Is it really him?
7 Britishbulldog (#) Feb 16th, 2013 - 08:33 am Report abuse
Thought the bastard was dead!!!!!! Never mind soon will be.
8 reality check (#) Feb 16th, 2013 - 08:46 am Report abuse
Obviously never heard of moving pictures. If he is making such good progress, why don't they televise a 30 second slot, have a much bigger impact than a photograph. Sorry, not buying it.
9 travellingscotsman (#) Feb 16th, 2013 - 09:34 am Report abuse
@ 5 vc percebe que seu ingles e terrivel e que nenhuma pessoa aqui sabe ou que vc diz? Nao sei se vc esta com acordo de Chavez ou nao!!!!
10 Think (#) Feb 16th, 2013 - 09:38 am Report abuse
(9) travellingscotsman

I, for one, have no problems understanding the meaning of what poster (5) Mr. Brasileiro writes....

Maybe if you just tried a little harder, traveller............
11 Frank (#) Feb 16th, 2013 - 10:18 am Report abuse
'Minister and son in law Arreaza said the president still has difficulties in speaking'
Nothing like a little bit of nepotisim...
Bedridden, can't speak, but can still run a country... oh OK...
12 ChrisR (#) Feb 16th, 2013 - 10:37 am Report abuse
@10 'I don't Think' aka The Turnip In Chief aka The Chief Liar on MP

As you are as stupid as Brassiere then I don't doubt you 'understand' what he is 'saying' which is more than Brassiere does.

Not a comment about your mate Dead Man Not Walking though: worried he might be stuffed, he has his eyes shut?

Go back to winding your old French/Ruskie watch up, you can donate it to Chubby to put in his coffin: that will be one piece of crap out of your way. Try and get in with him, that will be a BIG piece of crap out of our way.
13 LEPRecon (#) Feb 16th, 2013 - 10:37 am Report abuse
A few seconds of video of him smiling, nodding and holding his daughters hands would better silence any critics regarding him.

Photographs can be too easily manipulated, and photoshopped. A really good forger could make you believe that Chavez was anywhere doing anything.

This means nothing, at all.

Hey Venezula, some video proof next time, huh?
14 Ozgood (#) Feb 16th, 2013 - 11:50 am Report abuse
Do any of the readers remember the film Forest Gump. In it Gump is shown asking the late President Kennedy where the bathroom is. A smiling Kennedy says “He wants to pee” or something similar. Now this was made years after Kennedy's death.

Why can't the Chavistas do the same? They must think that the general population is retarded. The model or Chavez look a like does not convince me
15 Pirate Love (#) Feb 16th, 2013 - 07:05 pm Report abuse
Dead Man “not” Walking.....We have a dead man here!!!

please keep him alive for just enough time for him to witness the blossoming democracy In The Falklands,
bad for his family, but good for everyone else.....
16 Musky (#) Feb 16th, 2013 - 07:48 pm Report abuse
That's a great picture of Hugo having a really good laugh; he's clearly reading an article about Timmerman's shenanigans in London.
17 golfcronie (#) Feb 16th, 2013 - 08:35 pm Report abuse
@ 13
Good God, This is Venezuela we are talking about, not Hollywood
18 Sussie.US (#) Feb 17th, 2013 - 02:55 am Report abuse
Viva Venezuela
19 Brasileiro (#) Feb 17th, 2013 - 04:00 pm Report abuse
Thanks brother.

CryingR, please go to your castle, milorde. Dont cry for me!
20 Frank (#) Feb 17th, 2013 - 11:09 pm Report abuse
So Hugo is having complex alternative cancer treatment.

Meanwhile not a drip, not a tube, not a piece of medical equipment in sight as he sits up in bed in his bolivarian jacket.

Wot a load of rollocks.
21 ChrisR (#) Feb 18th, 2013 - 11:58 am Report abuse
We can't see his legs either.

Serious pelvic cancer with complications could mean he has lost a leg or two.

That'll depress him alright.
22 Gordo1 (#) Feb 18th, 2013 - 01:09 pm Report abuse
18/2/2013 1310 GMT

There are press reports in Central America that Chávez has returned to Venezuela. He has announced his arrival of Facebook! No pictures yet!
23 Ozgood (#) Feb 18th, 2013 - 03:16 pm Report abuse
Miracles never cease - he has arisen from the moribund. Henceforth he shall be called Lazarus. Halleluja!
24 ChrisR (#) Feb 18th, 2013 - 03:47 pm Report abuse
23 Ozgood

The picures I have seen you still cannot see his legs.

I don't know about come home for treatment: to die more likely.

Still, not much longer with a bit of luck.

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