Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s medical team in Cuba has successfully completed an operation that targeted an aggressive cancer.
On Tuesday, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said that the “complex operation” which lasted almost six hours and was “correctly and successfully” completed.
Chavez was recovering in Cuba at the delight of many of his supporters. “You have to return, and we’re waiting for you here, your children, we who’ve sworn to be loyal to you even beyond this life,” Maduro added.
Before the operation, medical experts were optimistic on the result of the surgery. Many of Chavez’s allies such as Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa had hoped for a healthy outcome.
The Venezuelan president called on his supporters to back Maduro while he was gone and in case that the operation had failed as Chavez’s replacement.
“He’s passing through one of the hardest moments of his life. Our heart and our solidarity are with a historic president,” Correa said.
Chavez announced the necessary medical procedure, being the fourth round of cancer treatments, on Saturday a day before flying to Havana.
Previous tests had discovered “some malignant cells” in the same area of his pelvic region where cancerous tumors were previously removed.
In late March 2012, the Venezuelan leader began radiation treatment in Cuba after undergoing an operation in February 2012 that removed a second cancerous tumor from his pelvic region. Chavez’s first tumor, which was baseball-sized, was removed in June 2011.
Chavez, who came to power in 1999, was re-elected in October to a new six-year term.
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