Chavez takes to Twitter after surgery

March 2nd, 2012 - 11:34 am ICT by IANS  

Caracas, March 2 (IANS/EFE) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez spoke out on Twitter a day after undergoing an operation in Cuba for a lesion in the same part of his body where Cuban surgeons removed a cancerous tumour last June.

“Very good evening, my beloved compatriots! Here I go, lifting my wings like the Condor! I send you all of my supreme love! We will Live and we will Prevail,” the head of state tweeted.

A second tweet referred to the Tuesday night fare on Venezuelan state television.

“I am watching my beloved Vanessa and Gabriela! What a good program!!,” Chavez said of host Vanessa Davis’ interview with Venezuela’s national ombud, Gabriela Ramirez.

The president’s Twitter messages marked his first public communication since arriving in Havana last Friday and followed the Venezuelan government’s second report on his condition.

Vice President Elias Jaua spoke on state television earlier Tuesday about a telephone conversation with Chavez.

“He is in full recovery process,” Jaua said of his boss, adding that “with a firm and triumphant voice he sent a fraternal greeting to all of the people, his love and appreciation”.

The 57-year-old Chavez, who has never provided details on the precise nature of the tumor removed last year, underwent several rounds of chemotherapy after the initial surgery before announcing in October that he was cancer-free.

News of a new medical problem has roiled the campaign for Venezuela’s October presidential election, in which Chavez - who took office in 1999 - will face Henrique Capriles, a former state governor backed by a broad coalition of opposition parties.

Commenting on the report from Jaua, Capriles wished Chavez a rapid recovery and “good health” to witness the changes that will come to Venezuela.

Spanish dailies Publico and El Pais published Tuesday a document from a US private intelligence firm asserting that the Venezuelan president is mortally ill.

The document is part of a trove of millions of e-mails from the Texas-based Stratfor company that was obtained by WikiLeaks.

In a Dec 5, 2011, e-mail sent to Stratfor CEO George Friedman, the firm’s director of analysis, Reva Bhalla, cites a “well-connected VZ (Venezuelan) source working with Israel” who describes disagreements between the Cuban and Russian doctors treating Chavez.

“The Russian team blamed the Cubans for an improper surgery the first time in trying to remove the tumour” and said Cuba lacks the “right imagery treatment to properly treat Chavez”, the source told Bhalla.

“The second surgery over the summer was basically the Russian team trying to clean up the Cuban team’s mistakes,” according to the source.

While the Cuban doctors think Chavez has two years to live, the Russian diagnosis, “due to improper medical equipment, is less than one year”, the unnamed source said.


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