CARACAS Jan 26 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
is in his "best moment" since undergoing cancer surgery in Cuba
45 days ago, the vice president said on Saturday, adding Chavez
has made important economic decisions to strengthen exports.
"He's got a smile that's filled with light, his thoughts are
illuminated," said Nicolas Maduro in televised comments just
after midnight after returning from a visit with Chavez.
The normally garrulous president has not been heard from
since a complex operation on Dec. 11. Official statements in
recent weeks have sounded upbeat about his condition following
rumors that he is gravely ill.
The communication minister on Saturday is scheduled to
provide more details about Chavez's condition and treatment.
Maduro's comments about economic policy come amid widespread
speculation that Venezuela is preparing a devaluation of the
bolivar currency that would improve state finances by providing
more bolivars per dollar of oil exports.
Devaluing would make exports more competitive by lowering
local production costs, and spur domestic industries by making
imports less competitive with respect to local goods.
"We're going to develop our economy's capacity to export,"
Business leaders have for weeks said a devaluation is
necessary to ease periodic product shortages that have resulted
from a scarcity of dollars.