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Chavez to return to Venezuela this week

Venezuela,Politics, Tue, 24 Apr 2012 IANS

Caracas, April 24 (IANS/EFE) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez spoke Monday on state television for the first time since he went to Cuba for cancer treatment nine days ago and said he will be back in Caracas later this week.


"I'll tell you something, I ought to be there in Caracas, God willing, on the 26th even though the authorization that the sovereign National Assembly gave me established no time limit," the president said by telephone.


Chavez said he will be in Caracas through Saturday, "then comes another session of radiation therapy - I have to continue the treatment and have some additional tests".


As for stories that circulated Sunday on social networks about a rumoured decline in his health and even his possible death, Chavez said "To stupid words, deaf ears".


"Unfortunately it seems we'll have to get used to being bombarded with rumours, above all in the coming months, because that's what psy-ops laboratories do, dirty war laboratories that work day and night in different parts of this hemisphere and naturally in Caracas," he said.


The leftist president went on the offensive against the opposition and said that this "is the strategy of the bourgeoisie, of the Venezuelan right".


"I'm in radiation therapy, comrades, ask anyone what radiation for four or five weeks is like, and in addition there's my usual work that I have to permanently," he said.


"Some would want me to do the 100-meter dash or go out tomorrow and pitch a game of baseball...we'll be doing that again but not now, not now, let me get better," he said, adding that he is "pretty far along" with his radiation therapy.


The Venezuelan leader underwent surgery Feb 26 in Havana for the recurrence of the tumour that was removed in June 2011 - also in Cuba.


Chavez said the tumour was in the pelvic region, but did not reveal the precise location. He underwent several rounds of chemotherapy after the initial surgery before announcing in October that he was cancer-free.


He has vowed not to abandon his bid to win another term in Venezuela's Oct 7 presidential election.


In power since 1999, Chavez now faces a race against the governor of the central state of Miranda, Henrique Capriles, the consensus candidate of Venezuela's long-divided opposition.






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