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Chavez declares he’s totally free of cancer “our offensive begins right now!”

Tuesday, July 10th 2012 - 05:11 UTC
Full article 17 comments
“Chávez is back in the street, the Bolivarian hurricane!” “Chávez is back in the street, the Bolivarian hurricane!”

Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez said on Monday he was fully recovered from cancer, three months before an election in which he is seeking another six-year term. “Free, free, totally free,” he told reporters when asked if he was free of the disease that struck a year ago.

The 57-year-old populist leader was first diagnosed with cancer in the pelvic region in mid-2011. He wrongly declared himself cured at the end of that year before having a recurrence of the disease in February.

But after repeated cycles of treatment in Cuba and Venezuela, Chávez is once again declaring himself fully fit at a crucial time when his health is the main wild card before the Oct. 7 presidential vote.

Perceptions of Chavez’s ability to campaign for the election, and govern afterwards, are crucial among voters in what could be one of Venezuela's tightest elections of recent times.

At a four-hour news conference that offered more evidence of Chávez's increasing energy levels, he promised to begin campaigning on the streets with a series of caravans in provincial Venezuela from Thursday.

“Now is when I'm stepping into action. Our offensive begins right now!” said an ebullient Chávez, who disappeared for long periods during treatment over the last year but has been back dominating Venezuela's airwaves in recent weeks.

“Chávez is back in the street, the Bolivarian hurricane!” he added, referring to his spiritual idol and Venezuela's independence hero, Simon Bolivar.

Despite Chávez's optimism, doctors say it is impossible to be sure someone is completely cured until at least a couple of years have passed since the last recurrence of cancer.

The former soldier is leading most opinion polls by double digits, but one recent survey put him neck-and-neck with opposition candidate Henrique Capriles and up to a third of voters remain undecided.

Capriles, a 39-year-old, centre-left former governor, has been criss-crossing Venezuela on a “house-by-house” tour in a show of youth and energy that the opposition has been using to contrast with the ailing Chávez, 57.

The president, though, who was famous for his whirlwind on-the-street campaigning of the past, appears to be recovering his energy levels just in time.

“Every day, I feel in better physical condition and I strongly believe ... it is not going to be a determining factor in this campaign,” he told reporters. ”I'm a veteran of 100 battles and I feel in great moral, spiritual and physical conditions for this fight that is starting.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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  • LEPRecon

    Totally free is he? Hmm I wonder what miracle cure he has used.

    Now it is right that someone can beat cancer, but it takes more than 3 months to 'cure' them, and then a battery of tests over the next year or so to claim that they are 'in remission' or completely free of cancer.

    Now there are only 3 ways to get rid of cancer:

    1. Surgical removal of the cancerous cells or tumour
    2. Radiotherapy
    3. Chemotherapy

    None of these work very well independently, but as a combination treatment work better.

    Given the fact that he has recently had treatment for cancer, it is a little too soon to be claiming that he is 'completely' free of it, unless of course, he didn't have cancer this time, maybe another ailment?

    Call me cynical, but Mr Chavez, maybe using his miraculous recovery from illness to get himself re-elected. I mean, according to his followers, he is only one step away from being God, putting him above the Pope. Surely being cured of a deadly disease faster than anyone else in history is proof of that?

    Jul 10th, 2012 - 07:15 am 0
  • Guzz

    what a major setback for you guys...

    Jul 10th, 2012 - 08:26 am 0
  • LEPRecon

    @2 -Guzz

    It's nothing to do with the UK, but places like Uruguay should worry.

    Chavez is a dictator, and the thing about dictators is they get greedy and want more and more. He has already gagged the press in Venezula, in fact it has been made illegal to contradict the government or put forwards other views on government policy, as it is considered to be sedition.

    So how can you have democracy when the press is gagged, the opposition threatened and intimidated, and the voting rigged?

    Venezula won't be threatening Britain economically, politically or militarily, but if I was their neighbours I'd be wary, especially as you have Argentina on one side (also an unstable country with vote rigging and a de facto dictator in power), and Venezula muscling in on Mercosur from the other, now that Paraguay have conveniently been removed.

    Or are you hoping that Chavez will take over your country, Mr 'I'm willing to sell out my country for a failed political ideology' Guzz?

    Jul 10th, 2012 - 08:37 am 0
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