Radiation may weaken Chavez for election

2012-03-12 10:00

Caracas - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday he will be home from Cuba in a week and start radiation therapy for cancer that could leave him weakened ahead of his re-election bid on October 7.

Chatting for more than two hours in a televised address from Havana, where he is recovering from a third surgery to treat cancer in his pelvic area, Chavez seemed eager to show he is fully in command of the government despite his illness.

Flanked by some of his cabinet ministers at the head of a long table, he laughed and sang songs in an apparent effort to squelch rumours he has a life-threatening condition like a spreading cancer.

"Today we are in the thirteenth day post-operation, with completely normal vital signs, a good general state of health and with no complications, good scarring, daily monitoring, rehabilitation and long walks," he said, reading off a document with details about his cancer treatment.

"In the coming weeks we will start the already announced phase of radiation therapy," Chavez said wearing a windbreaker with the colours of the Venezuelan flag.

During his recovery he said he was reading many books, quoting from a thick volume by Marxist philosopher Istvan Meszaros.

Homecoming


Since arriving in Cuba on February 24, Chavez has been firing off tweets, meeting with foreign leaders and phoning state TV, in what could be preparation for a triumphant homecoming.

"God willing, next Sunday afternoon I will be in Caracas," the 57-year-old leader said at the end of the pre-recorded broadcast.

In June he made an emotional return from his first round of surgery in Cuba, surprising the country with an unannounced dawn arrival in Venezuela and shortly thereafter waved to tearful supporters from a balcony at the presidential palace.

This homecoming will likely be less dramatic.

Last month he contradicted his own upbeat assurances that he was "completely cured", announcing he would once again have to go under the knife to remove a reappearance of the cancer in the same pelvic area.

Chavez linked up via satellite with his vice president and other ministers back in Venezuela presiding over the inaugurations of government projects, like a chicken farm jointly owned with an Argentine company.

Formidable race

He approved the issue of a bond in local currency for around $2.325m due between 2015 and 2017 to spend in the agricultural sector with the participation of a government fund and state oil company PDVSA.

According to analysts, those bonds will be bought by local banks to replace government-mandated quotas of agriculture sector loans, which banks have been struggling to meet.

Venezuela's leftist government is on a massive spending push, funded by oil dollars from the coffers of South America's largest crude exporter, to win over poor voters with popular welfare programmes, including job training and new housing units.

The side effects from radiation may slow down Chavez's gregarious on-the-street campaigning style - where he is known to meet with recipients of the state's largess in person - just as he faces a formidable race against 39-year old opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.

He may instead have to fall back on "virtual campaigning" through frequent Twitter posts, pre-recorded televised speeches and phone calls to state television.

Third undecided


Little is known about what kind of cancer the president has or how serious it is, but medical experts say the radiation treatment could take a heavy physical toll.

Capriles, a former state governor, won a strong mandate in a primary election last month and is expected to contrast his energetic and youthful image with Chavez's convalescence.

Opinion polls show Chavez, in power since 1999 and omnipresent in the media, still has the edge over Capriles in voter enthusiasm, although roughly a third of the electorate is still undecided.

With no clear successor to carry on Chavez's "21st Century revolution", Venezuelans will be closely watching for signs he has the strength to run a campaign and rule for another six-year term after 13 years in power.

Read more on:    hugo chavez  |  venezuela
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.