12:43 04 January 2013
The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is currently battling a respiratory infection officials say, following his cancer surgery. The leader, who is 48 years old, has been receiving treatment in a Cuban hospital.
In a statement released by officials, the President is said to be suffering from a ‘severe lung infection’, although his prognosis is unclear.
There have been rumours that the information regarding Mr. Chavez’s health has been withheld in parts, although the Venezuelan governmenthas stated it is giving an update on the leader’s condition.
Some sources hope that the issue concerning the President’s current state does not become political, according to reports.
Vice-President Nicolas Maduro among others paid a visit to Mr. Chavez this week.
It is understood that Mr. Chavez has had three other cancer operations, with the latest surgical procedure being carried out before Christmas on December 11th, 2012.
Mr. Chavez is expected to attend a ceremony next week where he could be sworn in for another six years in office, although it is not clear whether he will attend.
It is also uncertain at time of press what will happen if he is absent from the event.
Mr Chavez first rose to power in 1999, and in October last year he became elected for his fourth term in office.
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