[QODLink]
Americas
Chavez set for more radiotherapy in Cuba
Venezuelan President says he will travel to Cuba for a third round of treatment to beat his cancer.
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2012 22:30
Hugo Chavez was very emotional during a church ceremony that was attended by his parents  [EPA]

Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, has said he will be traveling to Cuba again to undergo a third round of radiotherapy in the hope of beating his cancer diagnosed last year.

"Tomorrow night I will again fly to Cuba to continue my battle for my life and health," the Venezuelan leader told state television on Friday.

Chavez made the announcement after spending some time with family members in his native state of Barinas in the west of the country.

He said he will meet with Vice President Elias Jaua, Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro and other members of the cabinet before the departure.

Chavez, 57, who is facing a tough re-election fight this year, is expected to complete five weeks of radiation treatment in Havana, but return home for brief periods during that time.

He completed the first two rounds of treatment in Havana, where he had surgery last month to remove a malignant tumor in the same area where another tumor was excised in June 2011.

Officials in Caracas have never specified the type of cancer the president has, but insist it has not spread to other organs.

Emotional Chavez

However, Chavez broke into tears on Thursday when he went to church in Barinas accompanied by his parents, children and other family members.

He explained later that emotions caused by the proximity of his loved ones had overwhelmed him and he could not hold back tears.

"It was a spontaneous, sentimental thing," Chavez said on Friday. "My father and mother stood next to me. And suddenly we took each other's hands.

"My mom gave me her hand with such tenderness, and dad gave me his ... And because of this tears rolled down my face."

His prior stay in Havana lasted exactly five days, allowing him to head off criticism that he had left Venezuela without permission from the National Assembly, which must authorise a president's absence if it exceeds that length of time.

The cancer comes at a difficult time for Chavez, who is in the thick of what is expected to be a tough reelection campaign. He has ruled out the possibility of a replacement candidate.

Chavez faces a stiff challenge from 39-year-old state governor Henrique Capriles, who was chosen to represent a unified opposition in primaries earlier this year.

Some 18 million Venezuelans will be eligible to vote in the October ballots.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
join our mailing list