TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Chavez critics protest secrecy

AFP/Getty Images
Opposition students protest demanding to know the real situation of President Hugo Chavez's health, in Caracas on March 3, 2013. Chavez is still in charge and mulling political, social and economic policies even as he receives a new round of chemotherapy, his vice president said Saturday. AFP PHOTO / Leo RAMIREZLEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images

Daily Photo Galleries

By Reuters
Sunday, March 3, 2013, 8:51 p.m.
 

CARACAS — Hundreds of pro-opposition students and other critics of Hugo Chavez's government marched in Caracas on Sunday to demand proof that the cancer-stricken Venezuelan leader is still alive and governing.

The crowd, including various leaders at the more militant end of the Democratic Unity opposition coalition, sang protest songs and waved banners as they rallied in a central neighborhood on a sweltering morning.

“Give us the truth!” and “Stop lying!” read banners.

Underlining the deep political polarization of the South American nation of 29 million people during Chavez's 14-year rule, hundreds of pro-government students also held a rally in support of the president and his ministers.

With Chavez unseen — apart from one set of photos — since cancer surgery in December, Ven-ezuelans are on edge waiting for developments amid a sea of rumors.

Officials say Chavez is in a Caracas military hospital after returning from Cuba two weeks ago, battling for his life. Though he is breathing via a tracheal tube, unable to speak, and undergoing chemotherapy, the president continues to rule via written and other communications, they say.

Opponents, though, accuse Vice President Nicolas Maduro and others of lying about Chavez's condition. And there have been media and Internet accounts that Chavez may have died — all emphatically denied by the government.

“They are violating the constitution. Venezuela has no authorities right now. President Chavez is sick. He hasn't said a word in two months. He cannot govern,” said protester Maria Montero, a 56-year-old teacher.

“We want impartial spokesmen to give us information about Chavez, real doctors, not politicians,” added Maria Mendoza, 54, who works for the state oil company PDVSA, at the opposition march.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Attack on Egypt army post in Sinai peninsula kills 30 troops
  2. Israelis label relations with U.S. ‘critical,’ lament state of ‘crisis’
  3. As oil prices fall, fear rises in Venezuela
  4. Iran executes woman who claimed man she killed had tried to rape her
  5. Iraq: Key town taken from Islamic State
  6. Gestapo impostor tricked British fascists, secret files show
  7. Mussolini’s air raid shelter opens
  8. Barricaded lawmakers fashioned ‘spears’ from flag poles in attack on Canada’s Parliament Hill
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.