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Chavez says he is 'recovering rapidly' after latest surgery in Cuba

The Venezuelan leader has undergone surgery for another potentially cancerous tumour.

Image: Fernando Llano/AP/Press Association Images

VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT HUGO Chavez has said that he is recovering quickly from tumour surgery in Cuba after his latest cancer scare.

The leftist leader, 57, said that doctors have put him on a special diet, adding that he’s taking daily walks and spending time with close relatives.

Chavez travelled to Cuba last month to have a growth removed on the same part of his pelvic region where a larger tumour was removed last June. He had finished his chemotherapy last September and declared himself free from cancer.

There was no word on whether the latest lesion was cancerous which drew criticism from opposition figures. In a phone call to State TV, Chavez did not provide specific details of the surgery.

“I cannot neglect my recuperation treatment for even a minute. I continue recovering, thanks to Venezuela’s support, the Cuban people, the doctors here in Cuba, to the love from the people that fills me.”

“I’m taking flight, raising the fatherland of the future,” he added. A statement also appeared on the official website of the president in which he said that he was “very happy and recovering rapidly”.

Chavez is seeking re-election later this year. His campaign rival, Henrique Capriles, wished him a speedy recovery but was critical of authorities for releasing little specific information about Chavez’s health.

Chavez, who was active on his Twitter account tonight, has vowed to recover from his health problems and win the 7 October election, securing a historic fourth term in office having governed the Latin American nation since 1999.

- with reporting from Associated Press

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Hugh O'Connell

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