| 9.9°C Belfast

Chavez on song after chemotherapy

Close

Venezuela's President Hug Chavez waves to supporters during an event to celebrate the 228th birth anniversary of Simon Bolivar in Caracas (AP)

Venezuela's President Hug Chavez waves to supporters during an event to celebrate the 228th birth anniversary of Simon Bolivar in Caracas (AP)

Venezuela's President Hug Chavez waves to supporters during an event to celebrate the 228th birth anniversary of Simon Bolivar in Caracas (AP)

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has appeared upbeat and energetic - and even burst into song - during a public appearance after his first week of chemotherapy in Cuba.

Mr Chavez said in a televised speech that he was optimistic he would survive cancer, but added that risks remained and that he was under strict orders from his doctors to limit his agenda.

After returning to Caracas on Saturday night, Mr Chavez said thorough tests had found no signs that any cancer cells had reappeared.

He spoke at the childhood home of Bolivar on the anniversary of his birth, praising the legacy of the founding father after whom the president named his socialist-inspired Bolivarian Revolution movement.

Mr Chavez declared "Long live Simon Bolivar, now and forever!", recited a poem about Bolivar by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, and sang outside the house with a folk music group while a crowd of supporters cheered.

Mr Chavez said he initially had not been sure he would make it in time for the annual celebration. He said it depended "on how things went in the first stage" of chemotherapy, the first cycle of which he completed in Cuba last week.

The president underwent surgery in Cuba on June 20 to remove a cancerous tumour in his pelvic region, which he said was the size of a baseball. He said that a day after he arrived in Cuba on July 16, he underwent thorough medical imaging tests, and that Fidel Castro brought him good news afterwards.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

"He told me three words: 'You don't have anything'," Mr Chavez said. He said the exam found that throughout his body there was no sign of any "malignant cell that had escaped the place where the tumour was".

Mr Chavez added: "Not in the place where the tumour was either. And that was the spot most checked, of course."

Castro has been at Mr Chavez's side throughout much of his treatment in Cuba. Mr Chavez said his friend and mentor urged him not to overexert himself and told him: "Rein in the horses. Don't believe that everything is already solved, and the people shouldn't believe it. The people have to know."


Top Videos



Privacy