Caracas – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Friday from Cuba that the first of "several" rounds of chemotherapy he will undergo for cancer has ended successfully and denied that the disease is terminal.
"I want to tell you that, because I see there are still people saying...Yesterday someone wrote, giving me four months to live. Those out there who have bad wishes, may they not be on the receiving end of them," he said in a phone call to Venezuela state television.
"We will live, I will live. We're on our way to a great victory in 2012 and to the new 2013-2019 period of government. Socialism, a socialist homeland and victory," he said.
The 56-year-old socialist president complained of abdominal pain during an official visit to Cuba early last month. Emergency surgery to remove an abscess led to the discovery of a cancerous tumor that was excised in a subsequent operation, also in Havana.
He returned to Venezuela on July 4 and made several public appearances before leaving again for Cuba last weekend to begin chemotherapy.
The president has kept quiet about the details of his illness, while various unsubstantiated accounts have mentioned prostate, colon and pancreatic cancer.
"This battle for life continues. This battle for life will be won with the help of God...and the will to live that has surged like a volcano from deep inside me, and with all the medical attention for which I thank the Cuba of Fidel so much," Castro said on Friday.
Chavez's phone call came as state television was airing a meeting between Vice President Elias Jaua and grassroots leaders.
"I'm in the best possible spirits, indomitable, my spirit right now is indomitable," the president said, adding that he is at "the ideal weight" of 86 kilos (189 pounds) after having weighed over 100 kilos (220 pounds) in recent years.
He also referred to his upcoming 57th birthday.