Wednesday, 19 December 2012 11:07
CARACAS: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in "stable" condition after being diagnosed with a respiratory infection following his latest cancer surgery in Cuba, an official said on Tuesday.
Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas said doctors had treated the infection and brought it under control, adding that it was a common consequence of "complicated surgeries" and that the ailing leader required "absolute rest."
Chavez, 58, is due to be sworn in for a third presidential term on January 10, but the country is now on tenterhooks to see if the outspoken, formerly tireless leader will remain their president, become incapacitated, or worse.
He has named foreign minister and vice president Nicolas Maduro as both his temporary replacement and hand-picked successor.
Chavez's ruling socialist party tightened its grip on power over the weekend by winning 20 of the 23 governorships in local elections, snatching up four that had been held by the opposition.
But Chavez, who is still ...