Chavez recovers from respiratory infection - minister

MEXICO. January 27. KAZINFORM Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recovered from respiratory infection he contracted after undergoing cancer surgery in Cuba, the Venezuelan information minister said on Saturday.

"45 days after the complicated surgery, the patient recovers normally, his serious respiratory infection has been overcome. Though certain respiratory inefficiency persists, he is receiving the required treatment," Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said on state TV.

He said that despite his illness, Chavez continues to "play active role" in the country's political life.

The minister also criticized media publishing what he called "fake photos" of Chavez in Cuba.

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro said upon his arrival from Cuba on Friday that Chavez is feeling much better than he has done since undergoing surgery; he is smiling, optimistic, and believes the treatment will work, RIA Novosti informs.

Chavez, 58, who has ruled Venezuela for 13 years, has had four operations for cancer and four courses of chemotherapy in Cuba and Venezuela within a year. His fourth operation, to remove cancerous tissue, took place in Cuba on December 11.

His inauguration was slated for January 11, but he was unable to attend due to health reasons.

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