Chavez plans "thanksgiving" after Cuba cancer tests

CARACAS Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:43pm IST

Cuba's President Raul Castro (L) and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez meet at Havana's Jose Marti airport in this handout picture taken October 16, 2011. REUTERS/Revolution Studios/Cubadebate/Handout

Cuba's President Raul Castro (L) and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez meet at Havana's Jose Marti airport in this handout picture taken October 16, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Revolution Studios/Cubadebate/Handout

Related Topics

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's convalescing President Hugo Chavez said he would be home on Thursday for a thanksgiving ceremony at a religious shrine after checks in Cuba following cancer treatment.

"Tomorrow we will be in Venezuela! We will go and fulfill our vow to the Christ of La Grita! We will overcome!" Chavez said via Twitter, referring to a Catholic religious shrine in the west of the South American nation.

The 57-year-old socialist leader went to Cuba on the weekend, saying "final" checks would declare him cancer-free.

But doctors say it is impossible to determine any patient's complete recovery until at least two years after treatment.

Chavez's tweeted message, which he then repeated in a brief phone call to state TV, implied he felt the checks had gone well.

In events that have stunned Venezuelans, unsettled politics a year before a presidential election, and sparked a torrent of rumors and speculation, Chavez had a malignant tumor removed in June and then underwent four cycles of chemotherapy.

Chavez ally and Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said ministers would wait for him on Thursday in Tachira state.

"We are going on a journey of faith and of hope, to give thanks and pay promises to the Christ of La Grita," Ramirez said, adding that Chavez would make "important announcements" to the nation on his homecoming.

Chavez hopes to run for re-election in the OPEC member nation in October 2012.

"I am very happy and very optimistic," Chavez said in the phone call to state TV. "We will live, we will conquer!"

So far, he has benefited from a sympathy bounce in polls, taking him to an approval rating near 60 percent. But analysts say that may fall if he is seen as not well enough to run a re-election campaign or rule for another six years.

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ebola Outbreak

HEALTH SHOWCASE

H5N6 Bird Flu

H5N6 Bird Flu

China poultry farm hit in new outbreak of H5N6 bird flu.  Full Article 

Weight Loss

Weight Loss

Low-carb diets may beat low-fat options for weight loss, heart health.  Full Article 

TV and Snacking

TV and Snacking

High-action TV shows lead to more snacking: study.  Full Article 

Fighting Cyberbullies

Fighting Cyberbullies

Family dinners may help kids cope with cyberbullying.  Full Article 

Price Factor

Price Factor

Pricing is key for new heart drugs challenging cheap generics.  Full Article 

Diabetes Care

Diabetes Care

Pistachios may help reduce diabetes risk: study.  Full Article 

'Exciting' Drug

'Exciting' Drug

'Most exciting ever' Novartis drug points to huge sales.  Full Article