CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- A new and severe respiratory infection has cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez in a "very delicate" state, and his breathing has deteriorated, Venezuela's government announced late Monday.
Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas read a brief statement on national television saying Chavez's "worsening respiratory function" was tied to a weakening of his immune system.
The 58-year-old Chavez first revealed an unspecified cancer in the pelvic region in June 2011, and reported undergoing radiation treatment and chemotherapy after earlier operations. He underwent cancer surgery in Cuba on Dec. 11 and flew back to Caracas on Feb. 18.
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