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Venezuela Shows First Chavez Photos in 2 Months

February 15, 2013

by VOA News

Venezuela's government showed new photos of President Hugo Chavez Friday -- the first public images of him since his fourth cancer surgery more than two months ago.

The images show President Chavez with a pillow behind his head, lying down on what appears to be a bed. His face looks slightly swollen, but he is smiling widely with his two daughters smiling beside him.

The president's son-in-law, Science and Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza, publicized the photos on television Friday. Some of the pictures show Mr. Chavez looking at Thursday's issue of Cuba's Communist Party newspaper Granma.

Information Minister Ernesto Villagas said Mr. Chavez has been fitted with a breathing tube in his throat because of a respiratory infection. He said the tube makes it hard for Mr. Chavez to speak.

The Venezuelan government aired the images just two days after Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Mr. Chavez is undergoing complex alternative treatment.

The Venezuelan leader has not been seen in public for more than two months since he left for Cuba for his latest cancer surgery. He had the surgery on December 11.

Officials have given little information about the president's illness or condition, revealing only that he has cancer in his pelvic region.

Last month, his health forced him to miss his inauguration for a fourth term.



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