Chavez promises return to Venezuela

2012-05-08 12:00
Caracas - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, currently in a Cuban hospital undergoing treatment for his cancer, told state television on Monday that he will return home "in the next days" amid speculation over his deteriorating health.

Chavez spoke for nearly half an hour by phone to VTV television, describing how he is undergoing radiation treatment and resting on doctor's orders ahead of his re-election campaign that officially begins in July.

Chavez, aged 57, had a cancerous tumour removed from his pelvic area in June 2011. He underwent another surgery in February after it recurred, and since then has made several trips to Cuba - his closest ally - for radiation treatment.

The government has yet to disclose what kind of cancer he suffers from.

In power since 1999, Chavez is running for re-election as a "revolutionary socialist" against Henrique Capriles, the youthful Miranda state governor and centre-left candidate for the united opposition.

"I am governing, fulfilling my job as head of state, but this is a special situation which I will leave in the next days and soon I'll be over there" in Venezuela, said Chavez, who gave no further information about his health.

Chavez said that during his stay in Havana he has followed several government projects with Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro.

The Venezuelan president also vowed in the phone call to defeat Capriles by a "devastating knockout" in the 7 October election.

Chavez has been communicating almost exclusively via Twitter in recent weeks as he has shuttled to Cuba and back for cancer treatment.

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