English translation of statement read by Vice-President Nicolas Maduro in Havana on Sunday about the health of President Hugo Chavez:
“The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela fulfills its duty by informing the Venezuelan people about the course of President Hugo Chavez’s medical treatment after the surgery performed in Havana, Cuba on Dec. 11.
“As is known, on December 28 we travelled to Havana on the instructions of the President Commander, and I proceed to make the following report:
“Arriving in Havana, we went immediately to the hospital to update ourselves firsthand on the situation of the Commander President’s health.
“We were informed of new complications arising from the already known respiratory infection.
“Yesterday, we kept abreast of the evolution of the situation and the response to treatment. We met several times with his medical team and his closest relatives.
“A few minutes ago we were with President Chavez, we greeted each other and he himself referred to these complications.
“We had the opportunity to share with the current national situation, the successful inaugurations of Bolivarian governors in 20 departments, and the satisfactory reception of his New Year message to the Bolivarian National Armed Forces.
“In particular, Commander Chavez wanted his New Year greeting transmitted to all Venezuelan families, who are gathering together in these days along the length and breadth of the country; he especially sent a warm hug to all the boys and girls of Venezuela, reminding them that he always holds them close to his heart. The embrace was extended to all our people, so that they receive love in 2013, a year which should be of the greatest happiness for our homeland, of definitive consolidation of our independence and national unity.
“The President gave us precise instructions so that, after finishing the visit, we would tell the (Venezuelan) people about his current health condition.
“Nineteen days after his complex surgery, President Chavez’s state of health continues to be delicate, with complications that are being attended to, in a process not without risks. Thanks to his physical and spiritual strength, Commander Chavez is facing this difficult situation.
“At the same time, we have decided to announce that we will stay in Havana for the next few hours, accompanying the Commander and his family, very attentive to how the current situation is evolving.
“Confident that the global outpouring of love and solidarity for Commander Chavez, along with his immense will to live and the care of the best medical specialists will help our president successfully fight this new battle.”
“Long Live Chavez!
“Havana, December 30, 2012”