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On coup anniversary, Chavez health said to be 'improving'

Published on Feb 5, 2013 5:57 AM
Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro (right) looks at a portrait of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during the conmemoration of the 1992 failed coup led by Chavez, who was an army lieutenant colonel, against then president Carlos Andres Perez, in Caracas, on Feb 4, 2013. Ailing President Hugo Chavez, who had cancer surgery in Dec, is doing much better and recovering, Cuban leader Fidel Castro said in remarks published Monday. -- PHOTO : AFP

CARACAS (AFP) - Venezuela's National Assembly speaker Diosdado Cabello marked Monday's anniversary of a 1992 coup attempt led by Hugo Chavez by assuring that the cancer-stricken president is "improving every day."

Mr Cabello also warned that any attempt to "cross the lines and instructions of commander Chavez will be paid back by the people." That double message came in a speech to a military audience commemorating the 21st anniversary of the failed military uprising against then president Carlos Andres Perez.

Mr Chavez, then a young paratrooper, was sent to prison but was pardoned two years later and elected president in 1999. Now a prolonged bout with cancer has raised uncertainty about his condition and political future.

"Commander Chavez is on his way to recovery, improving every day, signing what we take him, giving instructions, giving orders, concerned about the people," said Mr Cabello.

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