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Published: Wednesday, 1/16/2013

Venezuela publishes decree with Chavez signature

Could indicate ailing president is getting better


CARACAS, Venezuela — The country's official gazette has published a decree signed by ailing President Hugo Chavez.

It's the first time the president's signature has appeared in the gazette since his latest cancer-related surgery, indicating he could be getting better.

The decree issued Tuesday and published today names former vice president Elias Jaua Milano as Venezuela's new foreign minister. Current Vice President Nicolas Maduro, who is in charge of the country during Chavez's recovery, publicly announced Jaua's appointment at a National Assembly meeting on Tuesday.

Chavez has not made any public comments since his fourth operation in Cuba last month.

He has been fighting an unspecified type of pelvic cancer, and his silence has fed speculation about his condition. Venezuelan officials say he's being treated for “respiratory deficiency.”

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