Venezuelans have been asked to pray for ailing President Hugo Chavez.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been in a hospital since Feb. 18 for treatment of breathing problems amid an ongoing battle with an unspecified cancer, but nearly three in five of his fellow countrymen believe he will return to power.
Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’s presumed successor, said on television that the president “is battling there for his health, for his life, and we’re accompanying him.”
Chavez has not spoken or appeared in public since before Dec. 11, when he had his fourth operation in Cuba pertaining to his cancer. The government said he is breathing with the help of a tracheal tube after surviving a severe respiratory infection.
Despite speculation by doctors not involved in Chávez’s treatment that it is most likely palliative, designed only to make him more comfortable in his remaining days, many Venezuelans apparently believe – or want to believe – he is on the mend.
… “The president’s prolonged absence and his critical situation have not been converted into massive pessimism about his return,” respected pollster Luis Vicente Léon tweeted on Thursday.
He said nearly 58% of Venezuelans believed Chávez would recover while about 30% believed he would not return to power and 12.5% said they did not know what would happen. Meanwhile, 1% believed Chávez was never sick.