(Updates with comment from Chavez in third paragraph.)
Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said last night that he would travel to Cuba in late October for medical exams, hours after dismissing a newspaper report that his health had deteriorated, state news agency AVN reported.
Chavez, speaking by telephone on a state TV late night talk show, said his condition was improving and that he was spending time resting, reflecting and painting, AVN reported. The exams will serve to “analyze the close of this cycle” of treatment, said the president, who has an undisclosed form of cancer.
“Thanks to God, I’m enjoying better health each day,” said Chavez, 57. “You have to turn bad things into good.”
Hours earlier, the self-declared socialist appeared live on television with members of his Cabinet jogging and throwing a baseball. The program was designed to dispel speculation over his health after El Nuevo Herald, the Spanish-language sister newspaper of the Miami Herald, reported that he was admitted to hospital in Caracas Sept. 27 and would undergo dialysis to treat a possible kidney failure.
Chavez, who lost all his hair during treatment, was operated on to remove what he has described as a “baseball- sized” tumor from his pelvis on June 20 during a visit to Cuba and has returned three times to the island nation for chemotherapy treatment. The former paratrooper said yesterday that he would not disclose the type of cancer he had because doing so would feed “people’s morbid curiosity” about his health.
--Editors: Philip Sanders, Richard Jarvie
To contact the reporter on this story: Nathan Crooks in Caracas at firstname.lastname@example.org; Jose Orozco in Caracas at email@example.com
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