CARACAS – Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that President Hugo Chavez, who is recovering from cancer surgery in Cuba, is coming out of the postoperative period and “is going to enter a new phase of treatment that is in the process of evaluation” after going through a “difficult” period.
Maduro said that Chavez is conscious and “continues stabilizing in every way, the functioning of his organs, in all his fundamental qualities.”
“Sooner than later we’re going to have the president here with us,” said Maduro during the interview he gave to journalist and former Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel on the private Televen network.
He said that the first postoperative phase was “complicated” and “difficult,” and that the public was informed about it at the proper time.
Maduro said that Chavez is “focused on his treatment, (and) following (his doctors’ advice) in a disciplined manner.”
He said the last time he had seen Chavez was on Jan. 14 when he went to Havana along with Petroleum and Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez, Science and Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza, Barinas state Gov. Adan Chavez (who is the president’s brother), National Assembly chief Diosdado Cabello and Attorney General Cilia Flores.
At the time, Chavez – who he said displayed his customary good spirits and energy – asked him to “Relay my thanks to the entire people, to the armed forces” for their support, Maduro added.
Chavez has been hospitalized in Cuba since he underwent another operation on Dec. 11 to deal with his recurring cancer, which was diagnosed in mid-2011.