Officials have offered repeated assurances that Chavez is recovering well in Havana, many Venezuelans are wondering whether they get the true story.
Venezuela are used close to everyday speech and television appearances by Chavez, which could last several hours, even when traveling abroad.
But no one heard when he spoke on the phone with Venezuelan state television, on June 12, said he was quickly recovering from surgery two days earlier for a pelvic abscess. Chavez, who will be 57 next month, said medical tests showed no evidence of a "malignant" illness.
Chavez's vision came when the Cuban government has released pictures of the Venezuelan leader in the hospital with Fidel Castro and Cuban President Raul Castro on June 17. In one, Mr. Chavez has his hand on the shoulder of 80 years, Raul Castro.