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Chavez in stable condition after respiratory infection, Venezuelan gov't says
[December 18, 2012]

Chavez in stable condition after respiratory infection, Venezuelan gov't says

Caracas, Dec 18, 2012 (EFE via COMTEX) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has been recovering for more than a week in Cuba after an operation to deal with the return of his cancer, is in stable condition after his medical team treated him for a respiratory infection.

Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas announced on radio and television that Chavez's "general condition ... at this time is one of stability" after on Monday "he was diagnosed with a respiratory infection, which the medical team immediately proceeded to treat and it has been controlled." Villegas added that experts say respiratory infections are a common occurrence in patients who have undergone complicated surgeries.

He added that the medical team attending the 58-year-old Chavez in Havana had reported that "he must have complete rest in the coming days." The Venezuelan leader traveled to Havana on Dec. 10 and underwent surgery the next day for the fourth time since he was first diagnosed in June of last year with a cancer that is known to be in the pelvic region, although its exact type and location have never been made public.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro, whom Chavez named as his political successor before leaving for Cuba for this latest surgery, has said that the president is facing a "complex" and "difficult" post-operative process. EFE lb/bp

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