Venezuelan Government Dismisses Reports Chavez Seriously Ill

Posted June 27th, 2011 at 5:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Venezuelan officials have dismissed reports that President Hugo Chavez could be seriously ill, as his opponents demand information about his health, more than two weeks after he underwent surgery in Cuba.

President Chavez has not been seen in public since the June 10 operation for what authorities have said was an abscess in his pelvic area. Mr. Chavez's voice was last heard publicly June 12, when he called a television network and said he was on the mend.

Officials say the president is recovering well and should be back for a regional summit beginning July 5 that coincides with the 200th anniversary of Venezuela's independence from Spain. The president's opponents say Mr. Chavez and his aides should be more straightforward.

Some opposition politicians say Vice President Elias Jaua should replace Mr. Chavez until he recovers, a move Jaua has rejected.

Despite the absence of the 56-year-old president, his Twitter stream has been active. On Saturday, Mr. Chavez posted messages, including one mentioning visits by his daughter, Rosines, and grandchildren.