Some media have mistakenly reported that Hugo Chávez Frías was in a coma and then dead. In reality, the president of Venezuela, recently re-elected for a further term of six years with 55.25% of the vote, suffered serious respiratory complications during cancer treatment in Havana.

Deeming the incident to be related to his continuous activities and the ensuing stress, his doctors have isolated him to force him to rest. They asked Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Argentina, and Ollanta Humala, president of Peru, who made the trip to Havana not to disturb his recovery.

Following a visit to his brother’s bedside on January 11, Adán Chávez said "he continues to respond well to treatment and his recovery is advancing daily."

The return of the Venezuelan president to Caracas, originally scheduled for mid-December, is now expected to take place in February. The Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice has authorized him to take the oath of office as soon as he is able to take up his duties as president again. The inauguration ceremony had originally been scheduled for January 10.

During his third term, Hugo Chávez is expected to focus his attention on major policy decisions while delegating more responsibility than before to vice-president Nicolás Maduro.