Hugo Chavez suffers new complications in cancer fight
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Maduro said that Chavez had sent year-end greetings to his homeland and a "warm hug to the boys and girls of Venezuela.''
The vice president expressed faith that Chavez would "successfully fight this new battle.'' He concluded his message saying: "Long live Chavez.''
On the streets of Caracas, images of Chavez smiling and saluting are emblazoned on campaign signs and murals. One newly painted mural reads: "Be strong, Chavez.''
State television played video of Chavez campaigning for re-election, including a speech when he shouted: "I am a nation!''
A new government sign atop a high-rise apartment complex reads:
"YOU ALSO ARE CHAVEZ.''
Chavez has been in office since 1999 and was re-elected in October, three months after he had announced that his latest tests showed he was cancer-free.
Opposition politicians have criticized a lack of detailed information about Chavez's condition, and last week repeated their demands for a full medical report.
Information Minister Ernesto Villegas defended the government's handling of the situation, saying during a televised panel discussion on Sunday night that Chavez "has told the truth in his worst moments'' throughout his presidency.
He also referred to a new surge of rumors about Chavez's condition and called for respect for the president and his family.
Chavez's daughter Maria, who has been with the president since his surgery, said in a message on her Twitter account: "Thank you people of Venezuela. Thank you people of the world. You and your love have always been our greatest strength! God is with us! We love you!''
Some who stood in the Caracas plaza on Monday night held pictures of Chavez. Speaking to the crowd, lawmaker Earle Herrera said that Chavez "is continuing to fight the battle he has to fight.''
"He's an undefeated president, and he'll continue to be undefeated,'' he said.