A mass for President Hugo Chavez has been attended by top Venezuelan officials as the Vice President continues to dismiss rumours that Chavez has died.
The Catholic ceremony was held at Caracas’ military hospital, where Chavez is said to be since returning from Cuba, where he had treatment for cancer.
Speculation has been rife since Panama’s former ambassador to the Organisation of American States (OAS) Guillermo Cochez claimed Chavez is no longer alive.
Regarding the rumours, Venezuelan Vice-President NIcolás Maduro said: “Stop the attacks against the commander. Stop the rumours. That’s enough of using a situation that is sensitive for all of us to try to create instability. We tell our people: don’t give in. In the face of the rumours, maintain your revolutionary strength, trust and unity.”
The last news of Chavez came from the proof-of-life photos taken with his daughters and released on February 15.
Some people are frustrated with the lack of information, like one student in Caracas who said:“Today Venezuelans don’t know where President Chavez is, whether he’s alive, dead, whether he is able to govern or not. Venezuelans are being lied to”
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles has also accusing Venezuela’s government of repeatedly lying about the president’s condition.
Socialist Chavez has been in power for more than 14 years. Details about the type of cancer he has have not been revealed.