President Hugo Chavez's new complications after cancer surgery prompted his allies to call for Venezuelans to pray for him on Monday, presenting a bleak outlook and prompting speculation about whether the leader has much longer to live.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced from Havana on Sunday that Chavez now confronts "new complications" due to a respiratory infection nearly three weeks after his operation.

Political analyst Ricardo Sucre and other Venezuelans said it seems increasingly unlikely that Chavez can be sworn in as scheduled on Jan. 10. The Venezuelan leader has not been seen or heard from since undergoing his fourth cancer-related surgery Dec. 11.