Hugo Chavez 'Clinging to Life' Venezuelan has 'severe' respiratory infection, says official statement By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Mar 5, 2013 5:51 AM CST Updated Mar 5, 2013 7:30 AM CST 15 comments Comments In this Feb. 15, 2013, file photo, a woman holds a copy of a photo released by the government, showing Hugo Chavez at a Havana hospital with two of his daughters, in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File) (Newser) – Things are not looking good for Hugo Chavez. Unlike the rosy updates we were hearing earlier this year, the latest report on the Venezuelan leader's health has him battling a "severe" new respiratory infection and breathing problems, CNN reports. His condition is "very delicate," per the official statement read on state-run TV last night, as he receives "high-impact chemotherapy" and other treatments for his cancer, Reuters reports. "The commander-president remains clinging to Christ and to life, conscious of the difficulties that he is facing," says Venezuela's information minister.