Chávez Has Respiratory Infection

    Image #: 17043827    Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez waves as he boards the plane with his daughter Rosa before his departure to Cuba, in Caracas February 24, 2012. Rallying supporters with folk tunes and jokes, Chavez bade an emotional farewell while supporters prayed for him around Venezuela ahead of Friday's planned departure for cancer surgery in Cuba.   REUTERS/Jorge Silva (VENEZUELA - Tags: POLITICS HEALTH)       REUTERS /JORGE SILVA /LANDOV

    Jorge Silva, Reuters / Landov

    It is appearing less and less likely that Venezuela’s ailing president will be able to make it back home in time for his swearing in Jan. 10. On Thursday, Venezuelan officials revealed that Chávez is suffering from a “severe” respiratory infection after undergoing his fourth surgery in the last year and a half. “This infection has caused a breathing insufficiency that requires Comandante Chávez to comply strictly with medical treatment,” a minister said. In an ominous sign, top officials gathered in Havana to visit Chávez on Thursday. Under the Venezuelan Constitution, a new election will be held if the president is unable to take the oath or dies during his first four years in office.

    Read it at Reuters