CARACAS, Tuesday December 11, 2012 | Update

President Hugo Chávez is recovering after six-hour cancer operation

Executive Vice President Nicolás Maduro said in a mandatory nationwide radio and television address that President Hugo Chávez's cancer operation was completed "properly and successfully," adding that it was "a complex operation," but the president is recovering in his hospital room

Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro made the announcement in a mandatory nationwide radio and television address (Photo: TV screen capture)
Tuesday December 11, 2012  10:09 PM
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has left the operation room following a six-hour cancer operation on Tuesday in Havana, Cuba, announced Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro.

"The operation has been completed. Commander Chávez is in his room and has started a special treatment," said Maduro in a mandatory nationwide radio and television address. He added that Chávez's recovery would "take several days."

Maduro voiced gratitude for people's solidarity with Chávez, in and out of Venezuela.

"We want to thank people for all their expressions of love," he said. He asked Venezuelans to pray for President Chávez's recovery.
Ailing healthcare system seeking a cure

The news marked an ominous beginning, health-wise, of the year 2015: the Cardiovascular Surgery Unit at Hospital Clínico Universitario, one of the country's largest teaching hospitals, was to close completely on January 5 due to lack of medicines and surgical supplies. All patients who were waiting to be operated on were sent home. More than 10 patients waiting for surgery reportedly died there from lack of basic medical supplies in the two months prior to the closure.

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