Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez is “battling for his life”, Vice-President Nicolas Maduro has announced today.
“Our commander is sick because he gave his life for those who don’t have anything,” Nicolas Maduro told Venezuelan TV.
Hugo Chavez first announced he was being treated for cancer in June 2011. The type of cancer and precise location have not been revealed.
He has not been seen in public since travelling to Cuba in December for his latest surgery.
Hugo Chavez – who has been in power 14 years – is believed to be suffering from cancer in his pelvic area.
He was reported to be suffering a severe respiratory infection following the latest surgery.
Hugo Chavez was re-elected as Venezuela’s president for another six-year term in October 2012, but his swearing-in was delayed because of his illness.
Speaking in Caracas, Vice-President Maduro – who widely regarded as his chosen successor – said President Chavez “didn’t take care of his health because he gave his body and soul” to the people.
“He’s battling for his life, for his health, and we are there with him,” he said.
Hugo Chavez returned from Cuba in mid-February, sending a series of celebratory tweets thanking his Cuban hosts for their help and his fellow Venezuelans for their support.
The week before, images were released of Hugo Chavez smiling in his hospital bed during a visit from his daughters.
But little has been heard of him since.