Still no sign of Chavez after 2 months

Hugo Chavez has not been seen in public since December.
Hugo Chavez has not been seen in public since December.

CARACAS — Two months have passed since President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela climbed the stairs of the presidential jet, blew kisses to his supporters, and flew to Cuba to undergo his fourth cancer-related surgery.

Chavez hasn’t spoken publicly or been seen since that departure to Havana on Dec. 10, and the mystery surrounding his condition has deepened while the government’s updates have remained optimistic but have lately offered few specifics.

‘‘The president is in charge and making decisions,’’ Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said Saturday after meeting with Brazil’s foreign minister. ‘‘It’s a slow, slow recovery process. But he is fighting his battle with great faith, and clinging to Christ and clinging to life . . . and with the conviction that he is going to win this battle, too.’’


Jaua, who visited Chavez in Cuba last week, said the president, 58, has been making political and economic decisions.

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Confidants including Jaua recently said the president has overcome complications including a severe respiratory infection following his Dec. 11 surgery for recurrent cancer in his pelvic region.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro has said the president should be able to return home once his condition permits it. When that might be remains unclear, and the long silence of a leader who used to speak on television almost every day has led many Venezuelans to wonder why he is unable to say at least a few words to the country by phone.

Associated Press