Venezuela

Venezuela’s Chávez recovering after ‘complex’ cancer surgery

 

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is recovering in a Cuban hospital after undergoing surgery to deal with his recurring cancer, government officials said.

jwyss@MiamiHerald.com

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was resting in a Cuban hospital late Tuesday after undergoing a “complex” surgery to deal with his recurring cancer, Vice President Nicolás Maduro said.

In a televised speech late Tuesday, Maduro said the operation was successful and Chávez could take “several days” to recover.

Wearing a black suit and surrounded by Cabinet members, Maduro urged the nation to keep praying for Chávez’s convalescence and speedy return.

“You have to come back, and we’ll be waiting for you — us your children,” Maduro said in an emotional speech. “We’ve sworn to be loyal to you beyond this life. If we had other lives to live we would still be loyal and we would be your soldiers forever.”

Chávez traveled from Venezuela to Cuba early Monday to undergo a fourth round of surgery to treat an undisclosed form of cancer that he has been battling since at least June 2011.

The Venezuelan government has released few details about his exact condition, but Maduro said the nation would be kept abreast of his recovery.

Early Tuesday, Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said Chávez was facing the most “difficult test of his life.”

During a meeting with his Colombian counterpart in the Ecuadoran border town of Tulcán, Correa said he found Chávez in good spirits when he visited him in Havana on Monday, but he said the surgical procedure he was facing was “delicate.”

“Our hearts and solidarity are with him,” Correa said, according to the state-run El Cuidadano newspaper. “He’s a historic president and hopefully he will recover fully.”

On Saturday, Chávez told the nation that his doctors had found “malignant cells” near the site where he had a tumor removed from his pelvis last year. This is the second time he has acknowledged suffering a relapse. The government has never said which type of cancer the president has or what organs are affected.

The health scare has cast doubts on whether the 58-year-old leader will be fit to assume a new six-year term on Jan. 10. Before leaving for Cuba, Chávez said that Vice President Maduro would take the helm of the oil-rich nation if he was “incapacitated” and oversee new presidential elections.

The news has unleashed waves of speculation and sometime vicious attacks on the Web.

In a message to Chávez’s detractors, Maduro asked them to put their hate aside and rally behind the ailing leader.

“Enough of your distilled hate and venom every day,” Maduro said. “Respect the president. Respect the sorrow of a dignified nation that has become free under the leadership of this man.”

Read more Top Stories stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category