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Chavez photos uplift people in Venezuela

Photo shows Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez surrounded by his daughters at hospital in Havana on February 15, 2013.

Photo shows Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez surrounded by his daughters at hospital in Havana on February 15, 2013.

People in Venezuela have rejoiced after the government released first post-surgical photos of President Hugo Chavez in the company of his daughters.

The photos show the 58-year-old Chavez in a hospital in Cuba’s capital, Havana, smiling while reading the official Cuban newspaper Granma.

The Venezuelan president traveled to Havana on December 10, 2012 for a fourth operation after his cancer reappeared, despite a year and a half of treatment.

Meanwhile, the government says the four photos were taken on February 14.

Following the release of the photos Venezuela’s Science Minister Jorge Arreaza said that pictures “put us at ease.”

Chavez’s mental faculties are intact and he is “in close collaboration with his government team and on top off all the issues” facing the government, Venezuela’s Information Minister Ernesto Villegas also added.

Chavez has not appeared in public since his December’s operation, which resulted in post-surgery complications. However, the Venezuelan government has said that his health has been improving.

In late March 2012, Chavez began radiation treatment in Cuba after an operation in February 2012 that removed a second cancerous tumor from his pelvic region. Chavez’s first tumor, which was baseball-sized, was removed in June 2011, and then he received chemotherapy.

Chavez, who came to power in 1999, was reelected to a new six-year term in October 2012.

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