Bloomberg News

Hugo Chavez Says Health Favorable After Cancer Treatment in Cuba

March 12, 2012

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in Cuba to receive treatment for an undisclosed type of cancer, said his health is favorable and he’ll start radiation therapy in the coming weeks.

Chavez told a meeting of his ministers yesterday that he didn’t think he’d be in Cuba for another week. The meeting was recorded in the afternoon and broadcast last night.

“It’s been 13 days since the latest operation, and there have been no complications,” said Chavez, who departed for Cuba on Feb. 24. “All the exams have shown a favorable evolution.”

Chavez, who will seek re-election in October after 13 years in power, is recovering from an operation in Havana to remove a lesion from the same pelvic area from which doctors removed a cancerous tumor last year. He has declined to say exactly what kind of cancer he has or allow access to his medical records.

Before traveling to Cuba, Chavez said that it was “probable” that the growth is malignant and if confirmed, would require radiation therapy. Chavez, 57, underwent four rounds of chemotherapy last year.

Accompanied by Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro and other ministers who traveled to Cuba for the broadcast, Chavez read philosophy books, sang folk songs, approved financing for housing and public transportation and inspected a chicken farm via satellite link.

Chavez said that state development fund Fonden and Petroleos de Venezuela SA will issue 10 billion bolivares ($2.3 billion) in “agriculture bonds” that mature between 2015 and 2017. Fonden will issue 7 billion bolivars of the local debt that will be sold to domestic banks with an interest rate of 9 percent, and PDVSA, as the state oil company is known, will issue 3 billion bolivares.

“Take care of your health,” Chavez told his ministers. “Get checkups.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Nathan Crooks in Caracas at ncrooks@bloomberg.net; Corina Pons in Caracas at crpons@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net


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