Venezuela Blames Enemies' Poison for Chávez's Worsened Condition

Tuesday, 05 Mar 2013 04:31 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Venezuela is blaming President Hugo Chavez's worsening health condition on the country's domestic and foreign enemies, who they claim must have poisoned the ailing politician.

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro told the press in a lengthy statement on Tuesday that some day there will be "scientific proof" that Chavez was poisoned, CNN reported.

Maduro also met with the country's top officials to discuss Chavez's condition, which appears to be worsening. The 58-year-old is fighting for his life as he continues treatment following his fourth cancer-related surgery in December.

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Also on Tuesday, Venezuela expelled an Air Force attaché for the U.S. Embassy "for being implicated in [a] conspiratorial plan," according to the country's information ministry.

Chavez has been out of the public eye since before his Dec. 11 surgery in Cuba to treat an unspecific cancer in the pelvic area, and only recently returned to his country on Feb. 18. Chavez is reportedly continuing treatment at a military hospital in Caracas, according to government officials.

Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said Monday that Chavez is battling a new "severe" infection, and remains in "delicate condition."

"There is a worsening of the respiratory function, related to the state of his depressed immune system," Villegas said Monday, reading an official statement on state-run VTV.

Chavez publicized his struggle with cancer when he announced his diagnosis in June 2011, and the president has since been through several rounds of chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and surgeries.

Despite his worsening condition, Chavez allies and his loyal fans believe the leader will get better. A poll conducted by Luis Vincente Leon, chief of Datanalisis polling firm, revealed that 58 percent of Venezuelans believe Chavez will recover.

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Chavez "is battling for his health, for his life, and we're accompanying him," Maduro said Thursday in a television appearance.

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