Chavez Says He's Recovering Quickly From Surgery

By Salon Staff

Published March 2, 2012 8:36PM (EST)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Friday he's recovering quickly from tumor surgery in Cuba.

He said doctors have put him on a special diet, and he's taking daily walks and spending time with close relatives.

"I cannot neglect my recuperation treatment for even a minute," Chavez said during a brief telephone call to state television. "I continue recovering, thanks to Venezuela's support, the Cuban people, the doctors here in Cuba, to the love from the people that fills me."

"I'm taking flight, raising the fatherland of the future," he added.

Chavez flew to Cuba on Feb. 24 to have a growth removed in the same part of the pelvic region where a larger, malignant tumor was extracted last year.

There has been no word on whether the new lesion is cancerous. During his phone call, Chavez did not provide specific details of the surgery or the tumor that was removed.

Chavez, 57, is seeking re-election Oct. 7.

His campaign rival, Henrique Capriles, has wished for the president to have a full and quick recovery, but also criticized Venezuelan authorities for releasing little specific information about the president's health.

Chavez has repeatedly vowed to recover his health and handily defeat Capriles, although some political analysts say the socialist leader's illness and medical treatment could keep him sidelined for weeks, bolstering his rival's chances in October's election.

Salon Staff

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