Caracas – President Hugo Chavez said in an address to the Venezuelan people that doctors in Cuba found cancerous cells in a tumor and that he must undergo further treatment for the disease even after it was removed.
The leftist leader said in a videotaped TV and radio address, broadcast Thursday and read from Havana, that he underwent a second, previously undisclosed, operation in the Cuban capital that completly removed the tumor and that there were no complications from the surgery.
He said that after the second operation his condition has continued "evolving satisfactorily" and that he is receiving "supplementary treatments to combat the different types of cells found."
"I feel that I'm coming out of another abyss ... I think we've achieved it," a thinner-looking Chavez said after telling viewers that Cuban former head of state Fidel Castro informed him personally of the diagnosis.
The Venezuelan president, speaking behind a podium and with a portrait of his hero, independence hero Simon Bolivar, behind him, said Cuban doctors on the communist-ruled island found the cancerous tumor after performing an operation June 11 to remove a pelvic abscess.
"I have kept and keep informed and in command of the actions of the (Venezuelan) government, in touch with (Vice President) Elias Jaua, and all my government staff," Chavez added.
He also expressed thanks for the "enthusiastic" and "numerous" expressions of solidarity from the Venezuelan people and other nations and their presidents, as well as the assistance from Cuba.
"All that love, all that solidarity are the most lofty energy which drive ... my willingness to vanquish in this new battle that life has put in front of me," he said.
In his address, Chavez recalled Feb. 4, 1992, the day of the failure of his attempted coup against then-President Carlos Andres Perez, and the "ill-fated hours" of the putsch that removed him from power for 48 hours in 2002.
"Now, at this new time of troubles" and, especially since Castro "came to give me the tough news of the cancerous finding ... I started begging my lord Jesus ... to give me the chance to talk to you, not from an abyss or a dark cavern or a night without stars. I wanted to speak to you with the sun of the dawn that I feel rising. I think we have achieved it, thank God," Chavez said.