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Opposition accuses Venezuelan government of lying about President Chavez condition

Saturday, March 2nd 2013 - 08:18 UTC
Full article 122 comments
Chavez has not been seen nor heard from since, other than in some proof-of-life photos released on Feb. 15 Chavez has not been seen nor heard from since, other than in some proof-of-life photos released on Feb. 15

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles accused Venezuela’s government on Friday of repeatedly lying about President Hugo Chavez’s condition, and said the truth will be known within days.

Capriles tweeted the claim as Vice President Nicolas Maduro assured Venezuelans on national TV that their cancer-stricken president continues a difficult and slow recovery from Dec. 11 surgery.

“We’ll see how they explain to the country in the (coming) days all the lies they’ve been telling about the president’s situation” said Capriles whom Chavez defeated in Oct. 7 elections.

Chavez has not been seen nor heard from since, other than in some proof-of-life photos released on Feb. 15. The government says the populist who has been Venezuela’s leader for more than 14 years returned from Cuba three days later and is at Caracas’ military hospital.

But it has also sent mixed signals. On Thursday, Maduro said, not for the first time, that Chavez was battling for his life and accused opponents of spreading rumors about Chavez’ health to destabilize the nation.

The opposition says Chavez should either be sworn in or declare himself incapable and call new elections. The constitution says he should have been sworn in on Jan. 10, but Venezuela’s Supreme Court said it was OK to wait.

Maduro attacked the Spanish newspaper ABC and Colombia’s Caracol network for allegedly spreading lies about Chavez’s condition. ABC said without specifying its source that Chavez’s cancer had spread to a lung. It said he had been moved to an island compound in the Caribbean.

Chavez’s son-in-law, Science Minister Jorge Arreaza, said on state TV that Chavez continues “to fight hard and is in the military hospital, as peaceful as he could be, with his doctors, with his family.”

Arreaza is one of a small circle with access to Chavez, who the government says is battling a “respiratory deficiency” following a post-operative respiratory infection that required a tracheal tube.

Likewise Dr. Jose Rafael Marquina a Venezuelan physician resident in Miami and who has proven to be the most reliable source of information on the health condition of President Chavez has preferred to keep silent.

He admitted that the secrecy surrounding the ailing president is becoming hermetic and he is in no condition to confirm the latest news.

He last twitted, “I’m going to cease writing until I have more definitive news. At this such difficult hour he is going through, my human solidarity and with a minimum of respect we will wait for the official information”.

Top Comments

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  • reality check

    News this morning was that he was to undergo Chemo in the Military Hospital. must be too ill to travel to Cuba for the treatment.

    Mar 02nd, 2013 - 08:31 am 0
  • Frank

    'Opposition accuses Venezuelan government of lying'
    what took them so long?????

    Mar 02nd, 2013 - 10:48 am 0
  • Idlehands

    I wonder how long they can keep up this charade. All they are doing is proving that Venezuela is a tin pot democracy

    Mar 02nd, 2013 - 11:40 am 0
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