CARACAS, January 9 (Itar-Tass) — President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela will not be able to be present at a swearing-in ceremony owing to the state of his health. National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello on Tuesday read out a message from the republic's Vice-President Nicolas Maduro who points out that the attending physicians of Chavez are of the opinion that the post-operative period must be longer. Accordingly, Chavez's swearing-in, which was due to be held on January 10, will be postponed to a later date.
In October last year, Chavez won the regular presidential elections. However, early in December he told his fellow countrymen that he had to leave by air for Cuba again because he needed yet another surgical operation, a fourth one over the past 18 months. The operation was performed in Havana on December 11. The authorities said the operation continued for six hours and was attended with a complication in the form of bleeeding which the surgeons succeeded in stopping.
Following that, the government announced that the patient got an infection of respiratory ways. However, his condition was estimated as a "progressing process of stabilization". The authorities reported that Chavez was already able to walk about the hospital ward and was making exercises recommended by the attending physicians. However, it was later stated that the president developed "new post-operative complications in connection with the infection of respiratory ways".