Venezuela opposition: Chavez secrecy feeds rumors

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela's opposition demanded that the government reveal specifics of President Hugo Chavez's condition Wednesday, criticizing the secrecy surrounding the ailing leader's health more than three weeks after his cancer surgery in Cuba.

Opposition coalition leader Ramon Guillermo Aveledo said at a news conference that information provided by government officials "continues to be insufficient."

Chavez has not been seen or heard from since the Dec. 11 operation, and Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday that the president's condition remained "delicate" because of complications from a respiratory infection. Maduro also urged Venezuelans to ignore rumors about Chavez's condition.

Aveledo said the opposition has been respectful during Chavez's illness, arguing that "the secrecy is the source of the rumors."

"They should tell the truth," Aveledo said, noting that Maduro had pledged to provide full reports about Chavez's condition. He reiterated the opposition's call for the government to release a medical report and said all indications are that Chavez won't be able to be sworn in to begin a new term Jan. 10.

With rumors swirling that Chavez had taken a turn for the worse, Maduro said Tuesday that he had met with the president twice and had spoken with him.

"He's totally conscious of the complexity of his post-operative state, and he expressly asked us … to keep the nation informed always, always with the truth, as hard as it may be in certain circumstances," Maduro said.

Venezuela opposition: Chavez secrecy feeds rumors 01/02/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 9:40pm]

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