Chavez Chemotherapy under way in Cuba
- Submitted by: manso
- 07 / 19 / 2011
HAVANA: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez faced a second grueling day of chemotherapy treatment for cancer in Cuba Monday, but managed to sound upbeat in a post on the microblogging site Twitter.
"Good morning Happy World! Good morning Beautiful Venezuela!! From here, ready for another day of the battle for life. We will live and win! Love you all!!" Chavez, a big fan and frequent user of Twitter, tweeted.
His blog showed two photos of the firebrand leftist leader wearing the football jersey of the Venezuelan team, which defeated Chile 2-1 on Sunday to reach the semifinals of the Copa America in Argentina.
Chavez watched the game on television with Cuba's revolutionary icon and former leader Fidel Castro, a key ally and mentor who visited him in the medical center where he is being treated.
The 56-year-old Venezuelan leader, who underwent surgery in Cuba last month and later disclosed it was to remove a cancerous growth, transferred limited powers in hopes of quelling criticism from political opponents back home.
"It is not time for dying; it's time to live," Chavez said in Caracas before departing Saturday.
Chavez has delegated for the first time a modicum of administrative control to his vice president, Elias Jaua, with the ability to sign his orders.
The president said he would hand over his full presidential powers to Jaua only "if I felt my abilities were impaired."
Chavez also issued a decree giving Finance Minister Jorge Giordani additional powers over economic issues.
The ailing Venezuelan leader was greeted warmly by Cuban President Raul Castro at Havana airport upon his arrival late Saturday.
A photo released by official state media showed Chavez holding the hand of a young woman presumed to be his daughter Rosa.
In Caracas, Giordani said there was little doubt Chavez would maintain his plan to stand for re-election in 2012.
"I think there is no doubt that in the 2012 elections the president will be present and then for many more years," the minister told state television VTV, adding that the government is functioning in Chavez's absence.
Chavez, in office since 1999, has indicated he would seek a third six-year term in 2012 and has brushed aside any notion that he would be hampered by medical issues. AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2011