Chavez seeks return to Cuba for chemotherapy


T-shirts with images of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and revolutionary leader Ernesto "Che" Guevara at a shop in Caracas on May 14, 2011.


Juan Barreto

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will fly back to Cuba on Saturday to start the second phase of his treatment for cancer.

Chavez had returned to Venezuela on July 4 after he spent almost a month in Cuba, where he had a tumor removed.

In line with the constitution, Chavez asked the National Assembly to authorise his trip.

Speaking on state televesion yesterday, he said:

I need to continue completing the strict plan designed by the medical team that is accompanying me on this ascent of the mountain.

The second stage will start with chemotherapy that has already been planned in scientific detail.

The National Assembly is likely approve the request, according to the BBC.

Earlier, the Brazilian news agency Agencia Brasil had said that Chavez would be treated in Sao Paulo.

But a political analyst at the Central University of Venezuela, in Caracas, told Bloomberg that Cuba was the preferred destination because it would be easier for Chavez to keep his prognosis a secret.

Jose Vicente Carrasquero told the agency:

In Brazil, it would be very difficult to keep people in the dark about what’s going on because public opinion would demand answers and the Brazilian media would investigate.

The exact location of Chavez's tumor is unclear, but reports say Chavez was operated on in the pelvic region.

(Read more: Chavez admits to cancer VIDEO)