Venezuela's Chavez
Photo: AFP

Report: Hugo Chavez in critical condition

Venezuelan leader underwent surgery in Cuba, hasn't been seen in public since June 9th

Venezuelan President Huge Chavez is in critical condition at a Cuban hospital, according to a report by the Spanish-language El Nuevo Herald.


The newspaper said that Chavez was not facing immediate death, but noted his situation is "complicated," according to American intelligence sources.



Chavez was last seen in public on June 9th. He was rumored to be in Cuba for treatment after suffering from prostate cancer.


The Venezuelan president's prolonged silence and seclusion in Cuba following surgery there two weeks ago has been fueling recent speculation about his health.


Government officials have offered repeated assurances that Chavez is recovering well in Havana, but many Venezuelans are wondering if they are getting the true story. Venezuelans are accustomed to near daily speeches and television appearances by Chavez that can last several hours, even when he's traveling abroad.


Yet nobody has heard him speak since he talked by telephone with Venezuelan state television on June 12th, saying he was quickly recovering from surgery two days earlier for a pelvic abscess. Chavez, who turns 57 next month, said medical tests showed no sign of any "malignant" illness.


The only glimpse of Chavez came when the Cuban government released photos of the Venezuelan leader at the hospital with Fidel Castro and Cuban President Raul Castro on June 17th.


The paucity of information has fed a stream of speculation about the socialist president's condition. Some people suspect Chavez has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness such as prostate or colon cancer while others claim doctors botched liposuction surgery and he suffered an infection.



פרסום ראשון: 06.25.11, 22:04
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