Venezuela’s Chavez in stable condition

Venezuela’s Chavez in stable condition

Venezuela’s Chavez in stable condition

Several masses were held to pray for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. EPA photo

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in stable condition and spent the last day of the year with his daughters, the leader’s son in law said in an appeal for supporters to ignore rumors about his condition.

“Compatriots, don’t believe in ill-intentioned rumors,” Science Minister Jorge Arreaza, who is married to Chavez’s daughter Rosa Virginia, wrote on Twitter from Havana where they have been at the former soldier’s bedside. “President Chavez spent the day quietly and stable, together with his daughters,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

Chavez has not been seen in public nor heard from in more than three weeks. The vice president said Dec. 30 that the 58-year-old was suffering a third set of complications after surgery in Cuba on Dec. 11, his fourth operation in 18 months.

Following an announcement that Hugo Chavez had suffered “new complications” from a respiratory infection, Venezuelans gathered on plazas and in churches to pray for Chavez and to talk about the president’s chances of surviving, The Associated Press reported.

Chavez has not provided details of the cancer that was first diagnosed in June 2011. Officials have said he suffered unexpected bleeding as result of the operation on his pelvic area, and that doctors had to fight a respiratory infection. The government has repeatedly described Chavez’s condition as “delicate,” warning Venezuelans to prepare for difficult days ahead and urging them to pray for “el Comandante.”