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Bolivia leader unable to meet ailing Chavez

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February 20, 2013 05:16 PM EST | AP

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UNITED NATIONS — Bolivian President Evo Morales says he wasn't able to meet his cancer-stricken "brother," President Hugo Chavez, during a visit to Venezuela.

Morales said he met Chavez's head doctor and his family Tuesday, and "my understanding is that they are very encouraged." But he added that "there are days where the situation of his health are very difficult, according to information from his ministers."

Morales spoke Wednesday at a news conference at the United Nations, where he was launching the International Year of Quinoa.

Chavez returned to Venezuela on Monday after 10 weeks in Cuba, where he underwent his fourth cancer-related surgery and treatments for complications, including a severe respiratory infection. He has remained silent and out of sight since his return, continuing unspecified treatment at a Caracas military hospital.