PUEBLA (Mexico), March 19 (RIA Novosti) - The Venezuelan government has awarded with state medals four Cuban doctors and three nurses who provided medical care to late President Hugo Chavez in Cuba during his two-year-long fight with cancer, the Venezuelan media said on Tuesday.
According to La Gaceta Oficial, a government publication, Acting President Nicolas Maduro has signed a decree which recognizes the Cuban medics for their “dedicated commitment to the care of our Supreme Commander of the Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Rafael Chávez."
Chavez, who ruled Venezuela for 14 years, died in a military hospital in Caracas on March 5 at the age of 58.
The charismatic Venezuelan leader underwent four surgeries and four courses of chemotherapy in Cuba and Venezuela within the past two years.
Chavez spent most of his convalescence in Cuba after his first operation in June 2011, and was transferred to Caracas two weeks before his death.
Cuba has been providing extensive medical aid to Venezuela since 1999 in exchange for oil supplies.
Under a bilateral program, known as the "oil for doctors,” Cuba has sent 31,000 doctors to Venezuela and provides training for 40,000 Venezuelan medical personnel. In exchange, Venezuela ships 100,000 barrels of oil per day to Cuba.