CARACAS — Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Venezuela’s capital on Sunday, demanding the government provide complete details about the health of ailing President Hugo Chavez. At the same time, Chavez backers staged their own rally in the city.
Protesters waving Venezuelan flags chanted ‘‘Tell the Truth!’’ as they marched in eastern Caracas. They accused government officials of keeping from the public a full account of Chavez’s condition.
‘‘They don’t tell us the truth,’’ complained Mildred Moreau, a 64-year-old woman who said Chavez is not healthy enough to govern the country. ‘‘We feel that they are trying to trick us.’’
The protest was staged one day after Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Chavez has been receiving chemotherapy while recovering from a severe respiratory infection.
Chavez underwent cancer-related surgery on Dec. 11 in Cuba and has not been seen or heard from since, except for several ‘‘proof of life’’ photos released Feb. 15 before he returned to Venezuela.
Officials have sent mixed signals on Chavez’s condition, sometimes saying that he is recovering and at other times saying he is battling for his life.
Sunday’s marchers joined students who have chained themselves together near a Supreme Court office while also demanding a full account of Chavez’s health and urging justices decide if he is healthy enough to remain in office.
‘‘We are going to stay here until they tell the truth, until they give an explanation about his state of health and say if he’s in a condition to govern,’’ said Johan Gomez, a student.
On the other side of the city, government supporters at a rally listened to pro-Chavez musical acts to demonstrate their support for the socialist leader.