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Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that President Hugo Chavez was fighting for his life in a Caracas military hospital, 10 days after returning from cancer treatment in Cuba.
The president's chosen successor did not provide more details, but the government said last week that Chavez was still suffering from a respiratory infection and that the tendency was not favorable.
As he presented subsidized homes on state-run television, Maduro said that Chavez was "battling for his health, for his life and we are accompanying him."
"Do you know why he neglected his health?" the vice president asked.
"Because he gave his body and soul completely and forgot all his obligations to himself to give the people a fatherland, to give those who had nothing a job, a life, a house, health, food, education."
Chavez has not spoken or appeared in public since undergoing a fourth round of cancer surgery in Cuba on December 11.
Only one set of pictures were released on December 15, showing him in his Havana hospital bed, smiling with two of his daughters. He spent two months in the Cuban capital before returning to Venezuela in the dead of night on February 18.