VP Maduro: Chávez is to start a second phase of treatment
Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro stressed that President Hugo Chávez, whom he last met on January 14, is treated by a medical team comprised of professional people trained in the best universities in the world
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During an interview with José Vicente Rangel, broadcast on Sunday by private TV station Televen, Maduro said once Chávez completes the current post-operative phase, he is to start a second phase of treatment. He added that details on the new phase of treatment would be provided soon via official statements.
He also asserted that the Venezuelan president is treated by a team of physicians trained in the best universities in the world, who "respect him and treat him with special affection."
Further, Maduro added that authorities are monitoring a group of people who signed the so-called Carmona Decree, under which Pedro Carmona was appointed president of Venezuela during a coup d'etat that briefly removed Chávez from power in 2002. According to Maduro, said people are encouraging actions that would disrupt the democratic order.
"He who intends to use his economic, political or media power, will have to face the Constitution and the Venezuelan state. Do not say you are victims of political persecution," he warned.
Maduro added that authorities are investigating reports of possible attacks against government officials.
He stressed that Chávez's followers are "deeply united and remain loyal to the leadership of President Chávez." He argued that Chávez shaped his leaders based on "the transparent exercise of politics.
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.