Over the course of the summer, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez revealed that he is suffering from cancer. In a television address
, Chavez described his diagnosis and said that doctors had removed “cancerous cells” from his body. He then vowed to fight cancer.
Reports are now surfacing that Chavez has headed to Havana to undergo “rigorous” medical exams, according to Bloomberg News
. Here, doctors will perform a review to confirm the results of the first stage of his cancer treatment. The Venezuelan leader said tests showed no malignant cancer cells.
Chavez noted that he plans to return to Caracas in the middle of the week with “good news.”
“I thank God I’m on my feet and heading the government after these four months of treatment,” said Chavez. I have faith that we'll get through these tests.”
reports, though, that Chavez’s former personal doctor, Salvador Navarrete, told a Mexican newspaper Milenio Semanal
that the president’s condition is much worse than what is being admitted by Chavez and his government.
Instead, the doctor explained that his prognosis is “not good” and may only have two years to live.
“The President is suffering from an aggressive malignant tumor of muscle origin lodged in the pelvis,” said Navarrete, who served Chavez from 2002 until earlier this year when Chavez completely changed his medical staff and hired only Cuban doctors. “Life expectancy in these cases can be up to two years.”
Many within Venezuela are nervous and believe Chavez is unfit to govern and should step down.
“The president must understand the country cannot continue with this uncertainty regarding his illness,” said opposition politician and radio talk show host, Gustavo Azocar, reports the Associated Press
. “He has attempted to hide the true circumstances of his health. The president is not in physical condition to continue as president.”