* President suffering post-surgery complications
* Socialist leader diagnosed with cancer in mid-2011
CARACAS Dec 31 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
is in stable condition and spent Monday with his daughters, the
cancer-stricken leader's son in law said in an appeal for
supporters to ignore rumors about his condition.
Chavez has not been seen in public nor heard from in more
than three weeks. The vice president said late on Sunday that
the 58-year-old was suffering a third set of complications after
surgery in Cuba on Dec. 11, his fourth operation in 18 months.
"Compatriots, DON'T believe in ill-intentioned rumors,"
Science Minister Jorge Arreaza, who is married to Chavez's
daughter Rosa Virginia, wrote on Twitter from Havana where they
have been at the former soldier's bedside.
"President Chavez spent the day quietly and stable,
accompanied by his daughters."
Chavez has not provided details of the cancer that was first
diagnosed in June 2011, leading to speculation among Venezuela's
29 million people and criticism from opposition leaders.
Officials have said that he suffered unexpected bleeding as
result of the complex, six-hour operation on his pelvic area,
and that doctors then had to fight a respiratory infection,
which also caused his latest setback on Sunday.
Chavez's death or resignation for health reasons would upend
politics in Venezuela, where his personalized brand of
oil-financed socialism has made him a hero to the poor majority
but a pariah to critics who denounce him as a dictator.
The president's condition is being watched closely around
Latin America, especially in other leftist-run nations such as
Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia which depend on subsidized fuel
shipments and other Venezuelan aid for their fragile economies.