The Venezuelan government has just released a new photography of a bedridden but smiley President Hugo Chavez accompanied by two of his daughters. The self-avowed socialist strongman remains in Cuba, where he is undergoing cancer treatment.
The shots, published on Thursday's edition of the official Cuban newspaper Granma, put an end to the rumors that Chavez was either dead or close to it. The president has been absent for over two months, during which Vice President Nicolas Maduro has been the designated executive (Chavez won reelection for a new six-year term last October).
However, Henrique Capriles, Chavez's opponent during last election, keeps suggesting that the government is actually lying to the Venezuelan people and that Chavez is in worse condition that what officials have admitted.
Meanwhile, oil-rich Venezuela, South America's fourth-biggest economy and holder of the world's largest oil reserves, devalued its currency by a third on February 8 — the fifth devaluation in the decade Chavez has been in power.