Hugo Chavez: Reports On My Health Read ‘Like a Novel’


(Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Image)

Has President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela been rushed to hospital with kidney failure?

That’s what a Miami newspaper reported today. El Nuevo Herald quoted sources in Caracas as saying he was admitted to a military hospital in the city on Tuesday.

Not true, says  Chavez. He appeared in front of the cameras today to dismiss the reports in his own inimitable way.

Quoting from the newspaper report, the Venezuelan leader said, “The sources, who spoke under condition of anonymity’ – Ha! How original – ‘indicated that the governor was admitted on Tuesday morning to the military hospital after suffering a general disequilibrium in his physical state.’”

Laughing, he continued: “Another source saw me leaving here. In a bad state, heading for the hospital. It’s like a novel, this.”

Chavez has recently undergone several rounds of chemotherapy in Havana.

Earlier today he spoke to state television by telephone. “I ask the people of Venezuela do not pay any attention to rumors. I would be the first, all the people know me, to come out to say or explain any difficulty in any part of the process. There has been no difficulty beyond what is normal.”

“As already mentioned, the fourth cycle is over and now I am physically recovering with medicines so the body can resist the level of toxicity”, he told state television over the phone. “I have dealt with this well. But, well, here I am working, working hard, but I think It is good to clear up these issues.”

El Nuevo Herald says their sources at the hospital tell them Chavez was in a serious condition when he was admitted.

It’s not known what kind of cancer Chavez is suffering from, adding to the uncertainty surrounding his health. He was operated on last June to remove a tumor that was later confirmed as cancerous.

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