Chavez recovering well, says Venezuelan official

June 27th, 2011 - 11:30 am ICT by IANS  

Caracas, June 27 (IANS/EFE) The Venezuelan presidency’s chief of staff, Erika Farias, has said that President Hugo Chavez, convalescing from surgery in Havana since June 10, is recovering in good spirits.

Chavez “is recovering in good spirits, with plenty of energy”, Farias said on state television channel VTV during a tour of work being done as part of the housing mission, a state programme for building homes.

According to a report Saturday in the Miami Spanish-language daily El Nuevo Herald, which cites unidentified “US intelligence sources”, Chavez is “in critical condition, not grave, but critical, complicated”, though without specifying what illness the Venezuelan president is suffering from.

Communications Minister Andres Izarra denied the reports published by the US newspaper.

“Don’t repeat that press rabble. The commander is recovering well from his operation,” he wrote on his Twitter account @IzarraDeVerdad.

For his part, the executive secretary of the opposition alliance, Ramon Guillermo Aveledo, also referred Saturday to all the reports and speculation doing the rounds about the president’s illness, and considered that “the lack of transparency and the government’s nervousness” are what have “sparked all kinds of rumours”.

“Democratic governments give out medical reports, while the others just give a photo,” the spokesman for the opposition’s Democratic Unity alliance, or MUD, said in a communique, in which he also wished the president a speedy recovery.

The sources cited by El Nuevo Herald say that Chavez’s daughter Rosines and her mother, Marisabel Rodriguez, left Venezuela “urgently” several days ago en route to Cuba on an air force plane.

The Miami Herald, reporting on “the mystery illness afflicting President Hugo Chavez”, focused Saturday on the “absence of any credible replacement” for him in Venezuela.

According to anonymous observers cited in the daily, since Chavez is “surrounded by ‘yes-men’ and with his ruling Socialist (PSUV) party divided by faction-fighting and short on leadership, Chavez would leave a vacuum that might be impossible to fill”.

After 12 days of silence since he was admitted to a hospital in Havana to be treated for a “pelvic abcess”, Chavez June 24, the Venezuelan holiday commemorating the Battle of Carabobo, posted several messages on his Twitter account.

“A big hug to my soldiers and to my beloved people…From here, I am with you in the hard work every day,” said the message on his account @chavezcandanga. “Until Victory Always! We are winning! And we will win!!”

–IANS/EFE
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