By Joan Akello
Nicolas Maduro , Venezuelan vice president, has said that President Hugo Chavez’s condition remains “delicate” three weeks after his cancer surgery.
This comes after rumours such as that Chavez is in a coma. Madura said he had met with Chavez twice in Cuba, where he is being treated, and had spoken with him.
“He’s totally conscious of the complexity of his post-operative state and he expressly asked us… to keep the nation informed always, always with the truth, as hard as it may be in certain circumstances,”Maduro said.
He was speaking in a pre-recorded interview in the Cuban capital Havana, which was broadcast on Tuesday night by the Caracas-based television network Telesur.
Chavez has been absent from the public scene since his Dec. 11 operation, and officials have reported a series of ups and downs in his recovery. On Sunday, they announced that he faced new complications from a respiratory infection.
His deputy, Maduro, did not provide any new details about the latest complications during the interview. He also urged Venezuelans to ignore gossip, saying rumours are spread due to “the hatred of the enemies of Venezuela”.
Maduro said the president faces “a complex and delicate situation”. But he added that when he spoke with the president and looked at his face, he seemed to have “the same strength as always”.
“All the time we’ve been hoping for his positive evolution. Sometimes he has had light improvements, sometimes stationary situations,” he said.
Earlier, Venezuelan cabinet ministers prayed for Chavez’s recovery during a Mass at the presidential palace in Caracas.
Official New Year celebrations were called off after Maduro announced the president had suffered new complications.
In Oct 2012, Chavez was re-elected for his fourth term.National Assembly head Diosdado Cabello recently said that the swearing-in ceremony on Jan . 10 would be delayed in the case of Chavez’s absence.
However, the Venezuelan constitutions states that a new election should be called in 30 days should the president not be fit enough to attend his inauguration, the opposition argues.