Chavez Celebrates 57th Birthday, Vows To Fight Cancer
- Submitted by: manso
- 07 / 29 / 2011
Updated: Thursday, 28 Jul 2011, 10:11 AM EDT. Published : Thursday, 28 Jul 2011, 10:11 AM EDT.
(NewsCore) - CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who returned home over the weekend after a first round of chemotherapy in Cuba, celebrated his 57th birthday Thursday and said he was already preparing to celebrate his 67th in a decade's time despite his illness.
Chavez vowed to beat the cancer and said he was happy and healthy despite preparing himself for a second bout of chemotherapy, in an interview shown on state broadcaster VTV.
He said, "I am now like the phoenix. A new life is born in me. [This is] a sublime birthday, fueled by many people, love and affection. And I invite you to the 67th."
After returning to Venezuela on Saturday, the populist leader said that he was "in better condition than when I left" and vowed to carry on his political duties.
Chavez, who did not specify which type of cancer he has, underwent two surgeries in Cuba last month -- one to remove a baseball-sized cancerous tumor and the other to treat a pelvic abscess.
Before going abroad for medical care, the 56-year-old former army officer handed a few of his presidential functions to Vice President Elias Jaua and Finance Minister Jorge Giordani, including some budgetary duties and greater oversight of government expropriations.
Throughout his treatment, Chavez so far remained publicly upbeat and declared Saturday that "doctors did not find any malignant cells in any part of my body." However, he warned that a relapse was possible and is expected to undergo a second round of chemotherapy, possibly in Brazil.