Chavez suffered bleeding during surgery
Friday, December 14, 2012
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez suffered bleeding during his cancer surgery in Cuba that required “corrective measures” to stanch the flow, his government said Thursday.
But in the latest of a series of unusually frank reports about the president’s delicate condition, Information Minister Ernesto Villegas also said that Chavez has been making a “progressive and favorable” recovery after the complications from Tuesday’s surgery.
“This recovery process, nevertheless, will require a prudent period of time as a consequence of the complexity of the surgery performed,” Villegas added.
The government has begun providing regular updates on the president’s recovery after the six-hour surgery in what appears to be a slight easing of the secrecy that has surrounded Chavez’s medical treatment since he fell ill last year.
A somber-faced Vice President Nicolas Maduro warned this week Chavez faced a “complex and hard” recovery period. Villegas has acknowledged that the president may not be well enough in time for his Jan. 10 inauguration for a new six-week term.
But it still remains unclear where the bleeding occurred or how severe the complications were. Still secret are numerous details about the cancer in the president’s pelvic area, including the type and location of the tumors that have been removed.
Health Minister Eugenia Sader gave a more positive yet less specific account of Chavez’s condition on Thursday, telling reporters “he’s in excellent condition” and with family and friends.
The latest details about Chavez’s health came as supporters held church services to pray for him, and as Venezuelans increasingly acknowledged that their country could be on the verge of political change if the leftist leader cannot be sworn in for his fourth term early next year.
One-man rule has been the glue that has held together Chavez’s socialist movement, and he hadn’t groomed any clear successor until he announced over the weekend that if cancer cuts short his presidency he wants his vice president, Nicolas Maduro, to take over.