Hugo Chávez’s Condition Worsens

The world knows a bit more about Hugo Chávez’s condition now, and it’s not good.

According to The Washington Post, the Venezuelan government has released a statement describing its president’s state as “very delicate.” A new respiratory infection has hit the Chávez, who has already been suffering from cancer.

Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas brought the news to the country on national television late last night, saying that the 58-year-old leader is suffering from a “new, severe infection.” He added that Chávez has been undergoing “chemotherapy of strong impact” and that the socialist leader was “standing by Christ and life, conscious of the difficulties he faces.”

Just last week, CNN Chile reported that Chávez had died before retracting its story. Death rumors surrounding the ailing leader have been rampant; he hasn’t been seen nor heard from (except for photos released in mid-February) since undergoing a fourth round of surgery in Cuba this past December. Chávez was first diagnosed in June 2011.

Dr. Carlos Castro, scientific director of the Colombian League Against Cancer in Bogota, Colombia, said it was hard to perfect when the Venezuelan president might die.

“It’s a matter of days,” he said.