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Hugo Chavez: Is he is, or is he ain’t dying?

We are seeing conflicting reports on the health of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. Independent news sources are reporting that the cancer-stricken Chavez is quickly approaching his eventual departure from the living. In the meantime, the Chavez-controlled Venezuelan government, his family, and the communist Cuban dictatorship all say he is doing extremely well and will be back to cracking dissident heads and stealing private property in Venezuela before you know it.

Hmmm... who do believe?

Via the Miami Herald (H/T  H.T.): Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez undergoes tracheotomy after post-op complications

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is on artificial respiration after undergoing a tracheotomy earlier this week, according to the Madrid-based publication ABC.

Chávez has been suffering from complications after his fourth surgery in Havana, Cuba to treat cancer. Doctors performed the tracheotomy after a respiratory infection blocked the leader’s breathing, ABC reported. The procedure involves opening a hole in the neck so the patient can breathe without using the nose or mouth.

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolás Maduro has summoned several Chavista leaders to Havana, the Spanish publication reported.

To read the full story in Spanish, click here.

Via the AFP:

Daughter decries 'lies' about Chavez's health

AFP - One of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's daughters took to social media to demand a halt to "lies" about her father's health after rumors circulated the cancer-embattled leader had died.

"Respect for the family and especially fully respect for my people. Enough of the lies! We are next to papa. LIVING, struggling and recovering his health. WITH GOD," Maria Gabriela Chavez wrote in a Twitter message Friday.

Maria, the second of Chavez's four children, is with the Venezuelan leader in Havana as he recovers from cancer surgery.

Rumors have proliferated online about Chavez's supposed death ever since the 58-year-old president underwent his fourth surgery earlier this month to fight an unspecified cancer.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro, Chavez's handpicked successor, on Friday said that the president was making steady progress.

The latest official health report out Thursday said the respiratory infection that Chavez developed following surgery has been contained and his condition was improving.

Chavez underwent cancer surgery on December 11, scarcely a day-and-a-half after revealing to his stunned countrymen that his cancer had returned and just two months after his triumphant re-election to a six-year term.

The fiery populist leader, who was first diagnosed with the disease in June 2011, had assured Venezuelans that he was cancer-free after three surgeries and debilitating rounds of chemo and radiation therapy.

Significant aspects of Chavez's condition -- including the type, location and severity of his cancer -- have been kept secret, fueling rumors and uncertainty about Venezuela's future.

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