Rumor: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died

A lack of information from the government has led to much speculation about Chavez’s condition.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez: A lack of information from the government has led to much speculation about Chavez’s condition.

UNCONFIRMED: That Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is dead
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was slated to be sworn in for another term on Thursday, but he was said to be too sick to attend the ceremony. Meanwhile, with the leader having not spoken publicly in a month, there is a rumor going around, as reported by RYOT News and Channel 4 News Blog, that Chavez is not sick at all, but dead.

Official word: ‘respiratory deficiency'
Venezuela’s most recent statement on Chavez’s health is that he’s suffering from an acute “respiratory deficiency” related to a severe lung infection. The president is said to have "encountered complications" after his fourth surgery in Havana, Cuba, in December to treat cancer first diagnosed in June 2011. Regardless, tens of thousands showed up for a symbolic inauguration on Thursday, showing that even from his rumored death bed, the president still commands enormous attention.
Find out what Mexico’s “Grand Warlock” is predicting about Chavez’s demise

Tensions with opposition mount
With little information coming from Chavez’s administration on the leader’s health, tensions with the opposition party have steadily increased, focusing, most recently, on whether the government can legally postpone Chavez’s inauguration while he recovers. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles said Tuesday that Chavez’s current term constitutionally ended Thursday and now he and others have called for the Supreme Court to rule on who's actually president.

Video: PBS America profiles Hugo Chavez

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