Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Battling Severe Lung Infection In Cuba



HAVANA - According to a top official, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is battling a "severe" lung infection that has caused respiratory failure, reports state-funded media TeleSur.

Fifty-eight-year Chavez underwent cancer surgery for the fourth time in Cuba on Dec. 11 and then developed a respiratory infection, according to BBC News.

He is following a strict treatment regimen for "respiratory insufficiency" caused by an infection, Venezuelan Information Minister Ernesto Villegas told TeleSur Thursday night.

The information minister did not provide details about the treatment or prognosis, adds CNN.

The president has not been seen in public since having cancer surgery in Havana three weeks ago. This has sparked rumors that his health was quickly deteriorating.

The Venezuelan authorities have urged people not to believe "the lies" being told about Chavez's health.

Mr Villegas warned the people of Venezuela not to get caught into a "psychological war" being fought in the media which had the "ultimate aim of destabilising the Bolivarian republic", reports TeleSur.

Hugo Chavez came into power in 1999 and was elected for a fourth term in office in October 2012.

It is not known whether Chavez will be able to be inaugurated for another term as planned on Jan. 10.

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File:Parsin Gas and CNG Station in Karaj-Qazvin Freeway, Iran ...

Gas stations in many Iranian cities had trouble supplying fuel earlier in the week in what was a suspected cyberattack on the fuel distribution system. One Tehran daily on Thursday blamed Israel, which may have carried out similar acts in past years, to weaken Iran's hostile regime.

The incident reportedly disrupted the credit and debit card payments system this time, forcing users to pay cash and higher prices, the London-based broadcaster Iran International reported.

Though state officials didn't publicly accuse anyone specific, they did say perhaps this and other attacks had been planned for October, to "anger people" on the anniversary of the anti-government protests of 2019.

Khamenei, where's our gas?

Cheeky slogans were spotted Tuesday in different places in Iran, including electronic panels over motorways. One of them read "Khamenei, where's our gas?"

Iran International reported that Tehran-based news agency ISNA posted, then deleted, a report on drivers also seeing the message "cyberattack 64411" on screens at gas stations, purported to be the telephone number of the office of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

A member of parliament's National Security Committee, Vahid Jalalzadeh, said the attack had been planned months ahead, and had inflicted "grave losses," Iran International and domestic agencies reported Thursday. The conservative Tehran newspaper Kayhan named "America, the Zionist regime and their goons" as the "chief suspects" in the attack.

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