Communication minister: Chávez is performing pre-operational protocol
On an obligatory simultaneous broadcast, Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information Ernesto Villegas read out a notice from the medical team that takes care of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez
The Venezuelan leader "has started to perform the pre-operational protocol for the surgery to be conducted on the leader of the Bolivarian revolution on Tuesday, December 11, 2012," the notice reads.
Doctors expressed optimism about "a successful operation within the framework of the treatment followed by Commander Hugo Chávez for the full recovery of his health."
Furthermore, the Venezuelan government reasserted its "unshakable loyalty" to the Head of State and voiced gratitude for the "multiple expressions" of solidarity from all around the world.
Likewise, the Executive Office urged the people "to keep united in a prayer" for the president's health.
Earlier, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who visited Chávez on Monday in Havana, informed that his counterpart was undergoing "right now a very delicate operation."
In his presentation, Minister Villegas clarified that he was following the orders of Vice-President Nicolás Maduro.
A shipment of over 30,000 tons of phosphate arrived at Puerto Cabello port in late July on board the Shi Long Ling, a Chinese-flagged vessel that began its long journey in northern Africa. The cargo boat docked on July 26 after traveling more than 3,200 nautical miles. Undoubtedly, this would just be considered one in many cargo ships crisscrossing the oceans if it were not for the fact that Venezuela has denounced Western Sahara occupation by Morocco and yet purchases the territory's natural resource products from the occupying power.