Venezuela accuses opposition of 'psychological war'
AFPCARACAS -- Venezuela's government accused opposition leaders of waging a “psychological war” to destabilize the country, as its cancer-stricken president, Hugo Chavez, battles a serious lung infection.
January 5, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
The hard-line stance was adopted after Vice President Nicolas Maduro returned from a visit with the ailing Chavez in Cuba, where he is suffering from complications more than three weeks after undergoing cancer surgery.
Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said a “severe pulmonary infection” that Chavez developed after the surgery had led to a “respiratory insufficiency” requiring strict adherence to his treatment.
Villegas then leveled the charge that the president's health had become the target of a campaign to destabilize the government and finish off its socialist revolution.
The government “warns the Venezuelan people about the psychological war that the transnational media complex has unleashed around the health of the chief of state, with the ultimate goal of destabilizing the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” he said in a televised statement.
The statement came amid rising demands at home for a detailed accounting of Chavez's condition and whether he is fit to take the oath of office Jan. 10 for another six year term.
Venezuela's constitution calls for new elections to be held within 30 days if the president is unable to take the oath of office or dies during his first four years in office.