Chavez says he’s fine but admits feeling “a little diminished’ and short in red cells
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that he is recovering “favourably” from the “impacts” of his fourth and latest round of chemotherapy, although he admitted that he feels that his physical strength is “a little diminished”.
“I’m recovering from the effects of four continuous, very strong cycles (of) chemotherapy,” said the president in a telephone call to state television after the announcement of the postponement of Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit, which had been scheduled for Saturday in Caracas if Chavez had been feeling better.
Chavez remarked that “all vital signs continue behaving themselves well, they keep progressing favourably” and “fortunately” the chemotherapy impacts “did not affect any vital organ”.
“I say no organ, because at times the treatment has collateral impacts. In my case, fortunately, it did not have,” said the Venezuelan leader, who returned last Thursday from Cuba after undergoing his most recent cycle of chemotherapy.
However, Chavez said that he must “use caution in the coming days,” particularly “in the matter of the (body’s) defences.”
“(My) physical strength is not the same. It remains a little diminished, above all with red (blood) cells that, although they’re recovering, they always (experience) some impact” from chemotherapy, he admitted.
Chavez recalled that last week, before undergoing the round of chemo in Havana, he picked “a small infection in my throat,” that gave him a slight fever, but he managed to get over that “quickly.”
“I’m taking advantage of these hours of imprisonment, we’re going to call it that, in my rearguard barracks to study a lot, to rest a little bit, to prepare myself much better for the coming campaign, which will be very tough, but we’re going to win,” he said, referring to the 2012 presidential elections.
Regarding the election, Chavez also issued a call to Venezuelans “not to let yourselves be deceived by pretty words, touched up faces, fresher names or laboratory formulas” referring to political opposition figures.
“My commitment and my desire to live for you, not for myself... have grown. I have a great desire, a very great desire to continue living and also each day to continue being more useful,” said the president, who sang a bit and promised to be back on the street “soon”.
Chavez underwent surgery on June 20 in Havana for a cancerous tumour in his pelvic area and on his return asked people not to pay attention to rumours about his illness.
However the president did not attend the 66th U.N. General Assembly due to health reasons, the same excuse that was given for postponing Ahmadinejad’s visit to the Venezuelan capital, according to Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro.
In Miami a former top official from the George Bush administration, Ambassador Roger Noriega said the Venezuelan leader is not responding well to the treatment and we should be preparing for “when Chavez won’t be around”.
Noriega said that based on reliable sources that for years have supplied trust worthy information, ‘the health situation of Chavez is worse than publicly admitted.
“Allegedly Chavez condition is very serious and he is not responding or improving as doctors were doping”, said Noriega during a forum on regional foreign policy at the University of Miami.
“This means we should begin to think and prepare for a world without Chavez”, said Noriega. He added that Chavez count of red cells it well below average which limits the use of chemotherapy.
Noriega underlined that the regime is hiding information because the regime had come to the conclusion that only with Chavez can they win the presidential election in 2012, as long as the leader is showing to be recovering strongly.