Report: Chavez is paraplegic, and was transferred from Cuba back to Venezuela because doctors couldn't do anything more for him (February 21).
Government response: Officials have not specifically addressed this claim, but have repeatedly accused Marquina and others of waging a disinformation campaign.
Validity: The public hasn't seen evidence of Chavez walking in months. The only photos released of him recently show him laying down on a pillow. But it cannot be confirmed that he is paraplegic. Marquina first warned that paralysis was a possibility in December.
Report: Chavez is likely showing signs of renal failure and lung infection (January 3).
Government reponse: That same day, National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello said, "Don't fall victim to the opposition's rumors. ... They have bad intentions every time they talk." The government had already said there was a lung infection, but only later spoke about respiratory insufficiency.
Validity: The seriousness of the lung infection was confirmed as Chavez battled it for weeks, but little has been said that could confirm that he is having kidney problems, too.
Nelson Bocaranda, investigative journalist
Report: Ever since returning from Venezuela, Chavez remains the same, tired and ailing from the trip, which was never recommended (February 21).
Government response: Officials trumpeted Chavez's return to Venezuela, but have not given reasons behind the move. "Thank God! Thank you dear people! Here we continue the treatment," a post on Chavez's Twitter account said that day.
Validity: Bocaranda says the return was never recommended. Marquina says it was because doctors could do no more. Blasco says the Cuban government was pushing for the return. They can't all be right.
Report: Only a handful of people -- Chavez's family, the Castro brothers and medical staff -- could visit Chavez in Cuba. Even Maduro and Cabello were limited to short visits with their president. There were metal detectors, no cell phones allowed, and Chavez's medical information is under lock and key (February 7)
Government response: In January, Information Minister Ernesto Villegas insisted that Chavez was still very much in charge of the country, meeting with leaders and making key decisions. Maduro and Cabello traveled to Cuba several times to visit Chavez.
Validity: There is a contradiction here. If access Chavez was truly so limited, it makes it less plausible that Chavez was holding meetings and directing the country from his hospital room. If security was so tight, leaking information seems like a risky endeavor.
Report: Chavez has emphysema and has lost 70 pounds (February 6).
Government response: The government has spoken at length about a "respiratory insufficiency" that Chavez suffers, but has not said exactly what is causing it.
Validity: It is certain that Chavez has lung problems, but the details of what they are and how long they have affected him remains unknown. Only a few photos have been released of Chavez since his December surgery, and it is difficult to tell how much weight the president may have lost.