Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is fighting for his life in a Caracas military hospital 10 days after returning from cancer treatment in Cuba, his Vice-President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday.

The government had said last week that Mr. Chavez was still suffering from a respiratory infection and that the trajectory was not favourable.

As he presented subsidised homes on state-run television, Mr. Maduro said that Mr. Chavez was “battling for his health, for his life, and we are accompanying him”, adding later that the President was in a “complex and difficult” stage.

Mr. Chavez’s chosen successor and other officials have used similar phrases to describe the leftist leader’s condition in recent weeks.

Mr. Maduro praised Cuba’s leaders and the work of Cuban doctors, nurses and scientists who helped Mr. Chavez “overcome every stage of the operation and the post-operation”. — AFP