Hugo Chávez Dies of Cancer
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But officials acknowledged that Chavez suffered multiple complications after his surgery including respiratory infections and bleeding. He had to undergo more chemotherapy and drug treatments and could only breathe through a tracheal tube.
He returned from Cuba on 18 February at his own request, said officials. Since then he has been treated at Carlos Arvelo military hospital in Caracas.
Hopes for a recovery dimmed on Monday, when Minister of Communications Ernesto Villegas, said the president's condition had declined due to a "new and serious respiratory infection."
Constitutional questions have been raised by his long hospitalisation and absence from public life, which he formerly dominated with dynamic and provocative appearances on his weekly television address, "Hello Mr President." When he failed to attend his scheduled inauguration on 10 January, the opposition asked who is running the country. The ruling party responded with a rally of more than 100,000 supporters, many carrying banners declaring "We are Chavez."