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Chavez returns to Cuba for cancer treatment tests

The Venezuelan president said he expects to return home within the coming days with “good news” after undergoing tests in Cuba.

Chavez gestures to his head to indicate his hair is growing back during an appearance on 11 October.
Chavez gestures to his head to indicate his hair is growing back during an appearance on 11 October.
Image: AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos/PA Images

VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT Hugo Chavez has travelled back to Cuba for a medical check-up on his cancer treatment.

Chavez finished his fourth round of chemotherapy in Cuba last month. Leaving Venezuela yesterday, he said he has “faith that we’ll get through these tests”.

The 57-year-old has not disclosed what kind of cancer he is undergoing treatment for, but a tumour was removed from Chavez’s pelvic region in June and he subsequently underwent chemotherapy. After the second round of treatment, he said he had scaled back on his workload on the advice of doctors and was doing well.

He said recently that tests have shown no sign of the cancer recurring and that his hair has begun to grow again.

However, despite his reassurances of improving health, many Venezuelans – particularly his critics – are sceptical of his recovery reports. Opposition politician and talkshow host Gustavo Azocar said it was time for Chavez to realise that “the country cannot continue with this uncertainty regarding his illness”.

“He has attempted to hide the true circumstances of his health,” he said, adding that the president should step down and concentrate on his treatment.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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