Chronology of President Chávez's health problems
Below are some of the milestones in the course of his illness, since he was diagnosed with cancer in 2011.
- May 9. - Chávez adjourns a tour of foreign countries out of a swollen knee. Doctors recommend complete rest.
- June 10. - Venezuelan FM Nicolás Maduro announces that Chávez underwent an urgent surgery in Havana, Cuba, due to a pelvic abscess.
- June 30. - Chávez affirms that he was resected a tumor and will be under cancer treatment.
- July 16. - Chávez heads for Havana for his first cycle of chemotherapy.
- August 1. - A hairless Chávez makes his first public appearance.
- August 7. - The president arrives in Havana for his second cycle of chemotherapy.
- August 27. - The Venezuelan leader is admitted to Caracas Military Hospital for his third cycle of chemotherapy.
- September 2. - A strong, heavier Chávez leaves the hospital.
- October 20. - The president comes back from Cuba and maintains that, based on the findings of the testing, "there are not active malign cells" in his body.
- January 7. - Chávez resumes his Sunday radio and TV show Aló Presidente (Hello, President!) after seven months off the air; speaks for five hours.
- January 13. - The Head of State speaks for nine and a half hours at the National Assembly.
- February 21.- Chávez concedes that he was in Cuba and was found a "lesion" on the same site of the previous tumor; as a result, he must be operated on again; however, he denies any metastasis.
- February 24. - The Venezuelan leader flies to Havana for a new surgery.
- March 4. - Chávez confirms that the resected tumor "was a recurrence" of his cancer and that he will have radiotherapy.
- March 16. - Chávez comes back to Caracas.
- March 24. - The Venezuelan leader returns to Cuba to undergo radiotherapy.
- May 12, 2012: He returns to Venezuela and announces he has successfully completed his radiotherapy cycle.
- July 9, 2012: Chávez asserts he is "absolutely free" from cancers and denies claims that his health problems may have an impact on his electoral campaign for reelection.
- October 7, 2012: Chávez is reelected (2013-2019) with 55 percent of the votes versus 44 percent of his challenger Henrique Capriles Radonski.
- November 27, 2012: The president is authorized to travel to Cuba to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
- November 29, 2012: VP Nicolás Maduro says Chávez "is very well" and "attentive" to the development of government plans.
- December 7, 2012: After going through therapy for nine days, Chávez returns from Cuba.
- December 8, 2012: Chávez announces he will undergo a new surgery upon the emergence of inflammation and pain in the affected area. In the event he is unable to take office for the new presidential term next January 10, and in the event a new presidential election is held, the president has proposed the presidential candidacy of Vice-President Nicolás Maduro, the right man for his succession.
- December 11, 2012: The president undergoes his fourth surgery for cancer.
- December 13, 2012: Maduro says Chávez post-operative process will be "complex and hard" and calls on Venezuelans to be "ready" and "united" these "difficult" days.
- December 30: After visiting Chávez in Havana, Maduro reports that the Chávez faces "further complications," and his treatment is not "exempt from risk."
- February 1: Maduro reports that Chávez "completed" his post-operative cycle and is undergoing "complementary" treatments. A few days later, Maduro described such treatments as "extremely complex and hard."
- February 15: The government announced that Chávez is breathing through a tracheotomy tube, and has troubles to speak. Authorities disclosed the first images of Chávez in over two months, in which he appears smiling with his daughters Rosa Virginia and María Gabriela.
- February 18: Chávez announced on Twitter his return after more than two months in Havana, and he was admitted to the military hospital in Caracas.
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.