June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez underwent unscheduled surgery for a pelvic abscess in Cuba and will remain on the Caribbean island for “several days” to recover, Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said.
Chavez, who had been recovering from a knee injury sustained on May 10 before traveling to Brazil, Ecuador and Cuba this week, had tests that revealed the abscess during his official visit to the socialist nation and was operated on yesterday, Maduro said on state television, citing an official statement.
“Diagnostic exams revealed the existence of the pelvic abscess which prompted the immediate decision from Chavez to proceed with surgery,” the statement said. “The operation was satisfactory and Chavez has begun the recovery process in company of his family, doctors and part of his cabinet. His medical team believes that in a few days the president will be in a condition to return safely to Venezuela.”
An abscess is a collection of pus or purulent matter formed by a morbid process in a cavity of the body, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Chavez, a 56 year-old self-professed revolutionary socialist, has strengthened ties with Cuba since taking office in 1999 and currently sends about 100,000 barrels of oil a day to the island in exchange for Cuban doctors who work in poor neighborhoods in Venezuela. Chavez wasn’t operated on for his knee, which he said was injured while jogging and may have been a reoccurring injury from his history as a paratrooper and amateur baseball player.
During his foreign visits this week Chavez used a small metal crutch to walk to relieve pressure on his knee.
--Editors: Jim McDonald, Paul Tighe
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