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Chavez 'clearly' recovering: official

Portraits of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez painted by a street artist in Caracas, on January 29, 2013
Two passers-by walk in front of a street artist's portraits of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on January 29, 2013 in Caracas. Chavez is making steady progress recovering from cancer surgery, said the leader of Venezuela's parliament, who said the conval

Hugo Chavez is making steady progress recovering from cancer surgery, said the leader of Venezuela's parliament, who said the convalescing president is "clearly" moving ahead in his recovery.

"The health of Comandante Chavez is clearly recovering," said National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello. "He continues to make consistent but gradual progress."

Chavez has not been seen or heard from since his last cancer operation on December 11 in Havana, and any news about his health is closely monitored by the Venezuelans. Chavez is still recovering at a hospital in Cuba's capital.

The fiery Venezuelan leader was too sick to attend his own January 10 inauguration, prompting the government to delay the swearing-in indefinitely under an interpretation of the constitution that was heavily criticized by the opposition.

Throughout his illness, first detected in June 2011, Chavez has refused to relinquish the powers of the presidency, even when leaving for Cuba last month.

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