Venezuela says President Hugo Chavez is improving

A lung infection afflicting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been controlled, and his health is progressing positively, the government said Sunday.

"In spite of the delicate state of his health ... the general medical evolution has been favorable in recent days," it said in an official statement.

The government added that the president, who is undergoing cancer treatment in Cuba, is conscious and in communication with his family and his political and medical advisers.

Chavez, 58, has not made a public appearance since doctors operated on him a month ago.

After the operation, a government spokesman said Chavez was battling a severe lung infection that caused respiratory failure.

The long absence is not typical of the loquacious leader, who missed his own inauguration last week.


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