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Chavez Suffering New Severe Respiratory Infection

EFE, EL PAIS (Spain), EL UNIVERSAL (Venezuela)


CARACAS - Hugo Chavez is suffering from another severe respiratory infection said Venezuelan Minister for Communication and Information, Ernesto Villegas, in a video statement.

“At the moment the respiratory function is getting worse because of the immunosuppressants. Currently, he has a new, severe infection,” said Villegas. "Right now, unity and discipline are the basis to guarantee political stability in the country,” he continued, reports Caracas based El Universal.

As the nature of Chavez's cancer has not been revealed, speculation has been rife – with people saying the Venezuelan president might already be dead. Villegas hit back, saying that nobody in their right mind could think that the Chavez family and government would lie about such a thing, according to EFE.

Vice-President Nicolás Maduro, described the treatments that Chavez was undergoing, saying they were non-invasive. He also said that Chavez was on a new round of chemotherapy, harder and more intense, which is why the President wanted to return home from Cuba, reports El Pais.

On Sunday, said El Pais, there was a march in the streets of Caracas by students who demanded reliable information on the status of the president. The government organized a counter-march in support of Chavez with slogans such as “take all the time you need."

Chavez, 58, who has ruled Venezuela since 1999, returned to Caracas two weeks ago after being hospitalized in Cuba after a fourth cancer operation.

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Protests Derailed: A History Of Polish Railways Getting Political

Polish state railways have been accused of deliberately keeping protestors from reaching the capital for an anti-government protest march. This is not the first controversy the railways have faced.

Photo of trains in the Warszawa Rembertów Station, Warsaw, Poland.

Warszawa Rembertów Station.

Piotr Stanisławski via Wikimedia Commons

Last June, Polish opposition leader and former President of the EU Commission Donald Tusk called on Polish citizens to protest against the “authoritarian” steps taken by the ruling party, PiS. Estimates by state organizers approximate that 500,000 participants marched in Warsaw, with smaller marches occurring in other Polish cities.

“Do you have enough of [PiS’s] lies, theft and corruption?” Tusk asked in a video published on his Facebook page. "Then come to Warsaw on the 4th of June… we will show them our might”.

In the days leading up to the protest and on the day of the event itself, passengers and groups of demonstrators blamed state railways for delayed train permits, inaccessibility for those with disabilities and a deficit in the train's ability to transport participants to the capital.

“This is how rail functions in Poland,” an anonymous passenger told Gazeta Wyborcza, “It is impossible to get to Warsaw for the March at 12pm from Szczecin.” The same passenger told Wyborcza they were “speechless” at the realization, adding that “it’s an outright exclusion of rail communication”.

This is not the first time that the state-run rail lines have come under fire for allegedly political acts.

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