CARACAS, Sunday December 30, 2012 | Update

Maduro waits for doctors to let him see President Chávez

The Cuban press reported that the Venezuelan vice-president waits for the right time for his visit

Maduro was greeted at the airport in Havana by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez (Photo: EFE)
Sunday December 30, 2012  05:21 PM
Vice-President Nicolás Maduro arrived Saturday in Havana, Cuba, and the island's official media said he was waiting for the "right time" to visit Hugo Chávez. This would be the first visit to the Venezuelan president since he underwent his fourth cancer operation in a year and a half.

Maduro, who is leading the Venezuelan Executive Office since early December, when he Chávez bestowed powers on him and appointed him as his successor, has provided periodical medical reports on Chávez's health. Earlier this week, he informed he had talked on the phone with the ailing Venezuelan president.

"Nicolás is in Havana, visiting our commander. He is conveying greetings from the people of Venezuela, with love and affection (...) and also asking him to meet the treatment," said National Assembly Speaker Diosdado Cabello, a top member of ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) during the inauguration of governor of Apure state Ramón Carrizales on Saturday.

"It's up to him (Chavez) to regain his health," added Cabello.

Earlier in the day, a brief report published by Cuban state newspaper Granma outlined that Maduro went "straight to the hospital where President Hugo Chávez is being treated to greet his family and Venezuelan Minister of Science and Technology Jorge Arreaza."

The report, which includes a photo of a smiling Maduro when he was welcomed by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, stressed that the vice-president would "discuss with doctors the right time to visit the President (Chávez) during the day."

Cuban television showed some shots of Maduro's arrival in Havana on Saturday morning.

The delicate state of health of Chávez, 58, has cast doubt on his strength to continue leading his country and whether he can take oath on January 10 for the new term for which he was reelected in October.

Reports about Chávez's progress after his surgery on December 11 are not very detailed. Official reports have indicated that he had a complex surgery during which he suffered a hemorrhage and that he was then treated for a respiratory infection.
The cost of dollarization

Houses, cars, and some services are already being bought and sold in dollars in Venezuela. Opposition deputy Tomás Guanipa (Primero Justicia, Justice First) has based his campaign on dollarizing citizens' salaries.

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