The first photos of President Hugo Chávez since he underwent surgery in Havana on December 11, 2012 were made public on Friday, February 15, 2013 by the Government of Venezuela. The President of Venezuela is seen smiling alongside his two daughters.
"We want to show the people of Venezuela pictures taken last night [Thursday, February 14] of Commander Chavez, in the company of his two daughters, Rosa Virginia and Maria Gabriela", said the Venezuelan Minister of Science and Tecnologie, Jorge Arreaza. He noted that these photos complement the medical reports on the President’s state of health, periodically disseminated by the Government of Venezuela.
For his part, Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas said on Friday that two months after surgery President Hugo Chavez "was fully conscious, with his intellectual functions intact and fully abreast of the obligations arising from his office."
President Chávez has overcome the respiratory infection that arose after his surgery, "although a certain degree of breathing insufficiency still persists", said the Minister of communication. He then stated that the respiratory problem required the insertion of a tracheal cannula which temporarily hinders the patient’s speech. Villegas also said Chavez’s doctors are "applying vigorous treatment for his fundamental illness."
Since his surgery last December in Havana - and despite the official communiqués (a total of 15 up to February 15) released periodically by the Venezuelan government, President Chavez’s state of health has been the object of all sorts of manipulation on the part of numerous media, including the Spanish newspaper El País that even published a false picture of the Venezuelan head of state.