Venezuela’s Chavez says tests clear after cancer treatment

Agence France-Presse
President Hugo Chavez, whose health is in the spotlight ahead of a reelection bid, said Saturday that tests taken after cancer radiation treatment in Cuba went very well

CARACAS, Venezuela РPresident Hugo Chavez, whose health is in the spotlight ahead of a reelection bid, said Saturday, June 9, that tests taken after cancer radiation treatment in Cuba went very well.

In May Chavez sought treatment in Cuba, his closest regional ally, after the cancer that he had been suffering since 2011 recurred.

The Venezuelan government has disclosed few details about Chavez’s health, leading to intense speculation over the political future of Latin America’s most prominent leftist leader, who is seeking reelection for a third consecutive six-year term.

“Over the past few days here in Venezuela I have undergone computer-assisted X-rays, I have had (magnetic resonance imaging) MRIs with contrast, MRIs without contrast … and everything went completely well since the operation and with the radiation,” Chavez, 57, told reporters at the presidential palace.

“I feel quite fit… I have faith in God, I have faith in Christ my Lord and in science, and in the will to keep living to keep fighting for this country,” Chavez said.

Chavez said the tests were initially scheduled for mid-June, but he “took the decision to take them ahead of time” to show the results before Monday, when he formally registers to run for re-election.

One year ago Sunday Chavez was rushed into a hospital in Havana and had a tumor the size of a baseball removed.

Chavez has undergone surgery twice in the past year to remove cancerous tumors, and has had chemotherapy followed by radiation treatments to try to rid himself of the cancer. He returned from Cuba on May 11.

The flamboyant Venezuelan leader has yet to disclose what kind of cancer he suffers from, but has vowed to rout opposition candidate Henrique Capriles in the October 7 election.

Chavez seems keen to quash any speculation that he might not be healthy enough to run again for office as his party’s candidate. – Agence France-Presse