Brazilian doctors who had access to Hugo Chávez’s medical records say he has prostate cancer, a Brazilian columnist is reporting.
The columnist, Mônica Bergamo of the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Pablo, claims Chávez was supposed to seek treatment with a Brazilian urologist to confirm the diagnosis, but the Venezuelan president instead flew to Cuba where his medical records would be kept secret.
International media was reporting last week that Chávez would be treated at Brazil’s famed Sirio-Libanes, which is known for treating cancer. He underwent surgery in Cuba on June 20 to remove a cancerous tumor, but has said where it was located other than it was in his pelvic region.
Chávez has not been seen on television since he arrived in Cuba on Saturday night. He said before leaving that he would begin chemotherapy right away. It is unknown how long the treatment would last.
A message posted on Chávez's Twitter account Monday night said: "Good night fellow citizens! Closing another day of this battle for life here. With unbeatable optimism! Fidel came again!"
The Associated Press contributed to this report.