News provided by the Venezuelan government must always be taken with a grain of salt. With that in mind, Venezuelan Vice President Nicolás Maduro announced on television Thursday that President Hugo Chávez is “battling for his health, for his life.” Chávez, who has not made a public appearance since undergoing cancer surgery in Cuba in December, is reportedly running the country from a Venezuelan hospital, writing orders and taking meetings from his bed as he is breathing through a tracheal tube. “Our commander is sick because gave his life for those who don’t have anything,” said Maduro, who is Chávez’s choice for his successor.
CAN'T STOP, WON'T STOP A woman holds picture of Chavez in the capital Caracas on Wednesday. (Ariana Cubillos/AP)