Hugo Chavez cancer treatment moves to physiotherapy, ally Evo Morales says


Bolivian President Evo Morales delivers a speech on Oct. 23, 2012 at the Palacio Quemado presidential palace in La Paz.


Aizar Raldes

Bolivian President Evo Morales told his country’s congress today that ally Hugo Chavez is undergoing physical therapy after cancer surgery last month and will return to lead Venezuela.

Chavez is recovering in Cuba from the December surgery to remove a growth from his pelvic area, Bloomberg News reported.

“Yesterday I was in communication with Cuba and I have good news that our brother, comandante President Chavez, is already in physiotherapy in order to return to his country,” Morales said.

“We hope to be alongside him at international events as we have always been.”

Chavez missed his Jan. 10 inauguration and hasn’t been seen in public for more than a month.

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Comments from Morales appear to support weekend news from Venezuela’s Vice President Nicolas Maduro that Chavez was feeling better, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Argenis Chavez also told The Associated Press that his brother was recovering, while Foreign Minister Elias Jaua used Twitter to say he'd "laughed" with Chavez.

Yet, Venezuelan officials quickly dampened expectations, saying there’s no fixed timetable for the 58-year-old socialist leader’s return.

“Commander Chavez is in Havana in the process of full re-establishment of his health,” Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said, Reuters reported.

“The (latest) report was very encouraging. ... There is no return date yet.”

Opponents question the validity of the reports and have asked Venezuela's supreme court to nullify recent elections that returned Chavez to office. He has ruled since 1999.

Critics say there should be a caretaker president and new elections.

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