People around the world are celebrating New Years Eve, partying and carrying on, ringing in 2013. But count out Venezuela.
The South American country has canceled its New Years Eve celebration due to the ailing health of its president Hugo Chavez.
Mr Chavez had developed “new complications” from a respiratory infection after undergoing his fourth surgery on December 11 for cancer. There are no additional details released, but the complications “are being treated in a process that is not without risks,” reports CNN.
His political heir, Nicolas Maduro, broke the news from Havana, Cuba on Sunday night, saying the condition of their leader was an uphill battle:
“Thanks to his physical and spiritual strength, Comandante Chavez is confronting this difficult situation.”
The face of the Latin American and a fierce critic of what he calls US imperialism has been in power since 1999. Venezuela is an OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) member that controls the world’s largest proven oil reserves, according to ABC News.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, recovering from cancer surgery, has suffered “new complications,” an official said on.cnn.com/WeAm5I
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) December 31, 2012
Authorities canceled New Years festivities in a downtown plaza as Ernesto Villegas urged families “to ring in the New Year at home, praying and expressing hope for [Chavez's] health.”
Chavez announced last year that he had been diagnosed with cancer, but did not specify details. He has since had four operations including rounds of chemo and radiation therapy, debunking his claim in July of this year that he was totally cancer-free.
Jacqueline Faria, a Chavez appointee and top official in Caracas said in a Twitter statement:
“Everyone should pray, sending strength to our Commander to overcome this difficult moment.”