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Venezuela Opposition want ‘the truth’ about Hugo Chavez

A supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez holds a picture of him, as she attends a ceremony in Caracas. Photo: Reuters

A supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez holds a picture of him, as she attends a ceremony in Caracas. Photo: Reuters

Venezuela’s main opposition movement called on the Government yesterday to tell “the truth” about President Hugo Chavez’s health amid growing uncertainty over his condition three weeks after undergoing cancer surgery in Cuba.

“It is essential that the Government act in a manner that gives confidence. It is essential that it tell the truth,” said Ramon Guillermo Aveledo, the head of MUD, an opposition umbrella group.

Aveledo accused the government of “outlandish irresponsibility” in trying to make it appear that Chavez was exercising his duties as president as he underwent a difficult recovery in Cuba.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in a television interview from Havana on Tuesday that Chavez was conscious and fully aware “of how complex the post-operative condition is.”

But Maduro provided few specifics about the President’s health even as he accused the Venezuelan right of deliberately spreading what he said were sick lies and rumours about Chavez’s condition.

Maduro, who said he had spoken twice with Chavez during a three day visit to Havana, was returning to Caracas yesterday to face the growing doubts and political pressures in a nation that has the world’s largest proven oil reserves.

At the top of his to do list will be to sort out what happens if Chavez, 58, is unable to be sworn in to a new six year term on January 10 following his re-election in October.

The Venezuelan constitution calls for new elections within 30 days if the president-elect is unable to take the oath of office.

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