Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is using a breathing tube that makes it difficult for him to speak, Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said today as he released the first images of the cancer-stricken leader since Dec. 10.
Chavez, 58, was pictured in four photos broadcast on national television with two of his daughters at his bedside in Havana reading yesterday’s edition of Cuban newspaper Granma. The former paratrooper is conscious and has control of his “intellectual capacities,” Villegas said.
“A respiratory infection that arose after surgery has been controlled,” Villegas said. “A breathing insufficiency remains, and Chavez is using a tracheal tube which makes it difficult to speak.”
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