By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Venezuela’s vice president says President Hugo Chavez is conscious and aware of his health condition following his fourth cancer surgery in the past 18 months.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro said he has visited Chavez twice in the past three days in Cuba, where Chavez had surgery December 11.
Maduro told a television channel that Chavez “is absolutely aware of how complex” his condition is following surgery, but gave no further details about the president’s health.
Maduro also accused political opponents of spreading what he described as lies and rumors about Chavez’s health.
Chavez has not been seen or heard from publicly since the surgery, raising concerns he may not be healthy enough to return to Venezuela in time for his scheduled inauguration for a new six-year term on January 10.