Venezuela's cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez is suffering from a "new and severe" infection that has worsened his breathing, the information minister said late Monday.
"Currently, he has a new, and severe infection," information minister Ernesto Villegas said.
"today there is a worsening of respiratory function," Villegas added in a statement read from the Caracas military hospital where the leftist leader is being treated.
Chavez, 58, returned to Caracas two weeks ago after two months in Cuba, where he underwent his fourth round of cancer surgery since he was first diagnosed with the disease in June 2011.
Villegas reiterated that Chavez was undergoing "intensive chemotherapy, as well as complementary treatments."
"His condition continues to be very delicate," Villegas said.