Venezuela's Chavez 'Stable' After Respiratory Infection

by
Reuters
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is in "stable" condition in Cuba after being treated for a respiratory infection following cancer surgery a week ago, the government said on Tuesday.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is in "stable" condition in Cuba after being treated for a respiratory infection following cancer surgery a week ago, the government said on Tuesday.

Chavez, 58, is battling to recover from his fourth operation since he was first diagnosed with cancer in mid-2011.

"The general condition of the commander-president is stable after he was diagnosed with a respiratory infection and the medical team treated him immediately," Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said in the latest update on Chavez.

"It has been controlled."

Villegas said Venezuela's socialist leader, who is once again being treated in Cuba, had been ordered to take "complete rest" and follow medical instructions strictly.

Though Venezuelan officials are upbeat about Chavez's possibility of recovery, speculation is rife that he may have to step down from power, or might not even survive.

Chavez himself raised the possibility of his incapacitation before leaving for Cuba, naming a preferred successor and urging Venezuelans to vote for him if there is a new presidential election. He is due, however, to start a new term on Jan. 10.