Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said today he has to have more surgery after doctors in Cuba found a new lesion in the same place where he had a tumor removed last year. The announcement thrust Venezuelan politics into new uncertainty because the 57-year-old socialist leader is seeking re-election this year, hoping to extend his more than 13 years in power with a new six-year term.
"It is a small lesion of about (an inch) in diameter, very clearly visible," Chavez told state television. He did not say when or where he would undergo the surgery, other than "in the coming days." He said he would meet with his inner circle and expected to provide more details after a Cabinet meeting tomorrow. From July to September, Chavez received four rounds of chemotherapy, both in Cuba and in Venezuela, and he subsequently said tests showed he was cancer-free.