Hugo Chavez's health deteriorates, Oppn turns impatient

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Caracas, March 5: The condition of ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez worsened on Tuesday as the leftist leader was down with a fresh and severe infection. Government sources said Chavez was having breathing difficulty.

The leader, who is known to be one of the few omnipresent Left leaders in the contemporary world, has not appeared nor spoken in public for nearly three months now, leaving the oil-rich country and the region in general under uncertainty.


The state-run TV agency asked the Venezuelans to assemble in front of the president's military hospital on Tuesday and offer prayers for his well-being. Information minister Ernesto Villegas said that Chavez's respiratory functioning was worsening.

The 58-year-old president was admitted to the military hospital after undergoing two months of treatment in Cuba where he underwent the fourth round of cancer surgery in last one-and-half years.

Villegas said the president was undergoing "intensive chemotherapy" and other treatments and his condition was "very delicate".

Chavez, who has been in power for 14 years, was prevented from being sworn into his sixth term earlier this year because of the illness. The opposition has expressed anger over his prolonged absence and accused the government of lying about his health conditions.

They have raised demand for fresh elections if Chavez was unable to govern.

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