Venezuela: Chavez is responding to treatment

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 13, 2013 at 8:23 pm •  Published: January 13, 2013
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"We know that despite the position that many Venezuelans may have against the revolutionary project, nobody wants to see a fragmented Venezuela, a Venezuela involved in a civil war, that's only what Venezuela's sick right-wingers want," Jaua said.

During a huge pro-Chavez rally last week, Maduro warned that authorities would take action against elected opposition leaders who question the government's legitimacy.

"If you don't recognize the legitimate government of President Chavez, we are evaluating legally very forceful actions," Maduro told tens of thousands of Chavez supporters who filled the streets of downtown Caracas.

Maduro and other members of Venezuela's ruling inner circle met Saturday evening in Havana with Cuban leader Raul Castro during a visit to check on the Venezuelan president, the official Cuban newspaper Juventud Rebelde said.

Accompanying Maduro were Diosdado Cabello, president of Venezuela's National Assembly, as well as Attorney General Cilia Flores and Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez.

Juventud Rebelde published a photograph of a smiling Castro with Cabello and Ramirez.

In another picture, Castro is seen bidding farewell on Saturday to Presidents Cristina Fernandez of Argentina and Ollanta Humala of Peru, both of whom went to Cuba to offer support for Chavez. If either met with Chavez, it was not reported.

Fernandez was also shown in several photographs meeting with Fidel Castro, the former Cuban president and revolutionary icon who has been a father figure for Chavez.

The newspaper's reports did not mention Chavez.

The opposition contends the government is hamstrung because of Chavez's long absence, alleging that infighting among members of the ruling party has caused a worsening of pressing domestic problems such as rampant violent crime, double-digit inflation, deteriorating infrastructure and power outages.

A power failure left several districts of Caracas without electricity Sunday. Douglas Alvarez of the state-run power company said officials were investigating the cause of the blackout. Electricity returned to the affected areas by midday, he said.

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Associated Press writer Anne-Marie Garcia in Havana contributed to this report.

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Christopher Toothaker on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ctoothaker



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