Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez made headlines recently as he flew to Cuba to undergo urgent surgery to remove a tumor. Now, breaking his silence on Wednesday post-surgery, the Venezuelan president insisted he was recovering well and “soaring like the condor.”
“I send you all my supreme love. We will live and we will recover!” the 57-year-old socialist leader enthused via Twitter from Havana.
“Here I go, soaring like the condor.”
Still, despite his upbeat demeanor, Reuters reports that some sources, including a prominent pro-opposition Venezuelan journalist, suggested Chavez's cancer has metastasized and could be life-threatening.
The Telegraph adds:
His credibility has taken a beating too, since he pronounced late last year that he had completely recovered, yet has had to return to Havana for more surgery on what he described as a possibly cancerous lesion in the same area.
There has been no word on when Chavez will return, prompting opposition calls for a replacement to be named.
Former Cuban President Fidel Castro has long been Chavez's personal and political mentor, and the Venezuelan leader prefers to go to Havana because there is less chance of media leaks.
Chavez's rival for the Oct. 7 poll is Henrique Capriles, a 39-year-old state governor who hopes to woo former Chavez voters with a promise of a Brazilian-style "modern left" government.
Telegraph adds that Venezuelans are sympathetic to Chavez and still favor him as the candidate to beat given his emotional connection with the poor and heavy spending on welfare projects.