Venezuela publishes first photos of Chavez after surgery

HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) — The Venezuelan government has published the first photos of President Hugo Chavez after the head of state underwent cancer surgery in Havana last December.

Venezuelan science, technology and innovation minister Jorge Arreaza showed four pictures of Chavez with his elder daughters, Rosa Virginia and Maria Gabriela.

In the pictures, Chavez appears smiling and calm while reading Thursday’s edition of Cuba’s Granma newspaper.

The photos were released after communication and information minister Ernesto Villegas read on television and radio the most recent government communiqué on Chavez’s health progress.

The communiqué explained that, after a complex two-month post-surgery period, Chavez is conscious and intellectually functional, while in direct contact with his cabinet, leading major tasks relevant to his post.

The respiratory infection that Chavez suffered from has been controlled, though certain level of insufficiency still prevails. Given this situation, the Venezuelan president is breathing through a tracheal cannula, which makes it temporarily difficult for him to speak, the communiqué said.

The medical team is still administering treatment to fight the ailment, which is not without complications. Chavez is cooperating with the treatment and his rehabilitation in close coordination with the medical team.

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