Caracas – Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said he will travel Saturday night to Havana to continue the battle for his life and will undergo another round of radiation therapy, a treatment he has been given since he was operated in late February for a new cancerous tumor.
"I'm leaving again (Saturday night) for Havana to continue the battle for my life and health - I'll keep you informed," the Venezuelan president told the state television channel by telephone.
Chávez will undergo his third round of radiation as part of a treatment that began two weeks ago after being operated on Feb. 26 for the recurrence of the tumor that was removed in June of last year, which he said was in the pelvic region but without revealing its precise nature.
He underwent several rounds of chemotherapy after the initial surgery before announcing in October that he was cancer-free.
The president dismissed the rumors about his health circulating above all over the online social networks and said that he is asking Vice President Elias Jaua and Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro not to pay too much attention to those stories.
"Sometimes I tell Nicolas, I tell Elias, hey! don't worry so much about all those rumors because if we're going to spend all day refuting rumors it's going to be a waste of time," he said.
The Venezuelan president said that before going to Cuba he will hold several meetings to deal with matters like the new labor law overhaul, which he plans to sign on May 1, and the housing and security programs.
Chávez gave an emotional speech Thursday after a Mass offered up for his health in his hometown of Barinas, in which he asked Jesus Christ for a "longer life" and pleaded "don't take me yet."
"Give me your crown of thorns, Christ, give it to me, for I am bleeding, give me your cross, 100 crosses, but give me life, because I still have things to do for this people and this country, don't take me yet, give me your cross, give me your thorns, give me your spear for I am willing to bear them all, but alive, Christ my Lord," Chávez said at the church.
The Venezuelan president arrived Wednesday at midnight from Havana after his second round of radiation and leaves Saturday for the third of the five rounds that, he said, he is to receive at this stage of his treatment.
Chávez has said that he has no metastasis and that he is certain of a full recovery, for which he has vowed not to abandon his bid to win another term in Venezuela's Oct. 7 presidential election.
In power since 1999, Chávez now faces a race against the governor of the central state of Miranda, Henrique Capriles, the consensus candidate of Venezuela's long-divided opposition.