Photo shows Chávez as a picture of recovering health


Venezuela has published the first photos of the country’s cancer-stricken President Hugo Chávez since his surgery in Cuba more than two months ago, showing him smiling while lying in bed reading a newspaper, flanked by his two daughters.

The government said Mr Chávez (58) was still suffering respiratory problems after a lung infection and he was breathing through a tracheal tube, though not visible in the photo above.

He is shown reading Granma, the Cuban Communist Party newspaper, with his daughter Rosa Virginia.

Mr Chávez’s son-in-law said the socialist leader – renowned for, among other things, his long speeches – had difficulties talking, but was writing down orders. “He doesn’t have his usual voice.”

Mr Chávez has not appeared in public and has still not been heard from since the operation on December 11th, his fourth surgery for a cancer in his pelvic region, first diagnosed in mid-2011.

Venezuela’s information minister Ernesto Villegas said the infection was not wholly cleared. “Under these circumstances, the commander is currently breathing through a tracheal tube,” he said. – (Reuters)