Hugo Chavez: Cancer Is Back

Venezuelan president will again seek treatment in Cuba

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 9, 2012 8:03 AM CST

(Newser) – Hugo Chavez's long battle with cancer has resumed, and the Venezuelan president will again seek treatment in Cuba, reports CNN. Speaking in a televised address to his nation last night, Chavez said "It's absolutely necessary, absolutely vital that I undergo a new operation." But in acknowledging the "risk" inherent in the new surgery, Chavez took the unprecedented step of tapping a successor: "If something were to happen that would incapacitate me, (vice president) Nicolas Maduro should not only finish my term as the constitution requires ... You should also elect Nicolas Maduro to be president." Chavez repeatedly kissed a crucifix during the televised address, and CNN notes that at one point he broke into song.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez kisses a crucifix during a speech last night in which he said that his cancer had returned and that he would again seek treatment in Cuba.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez kisses a crucifix during a speech last night in which he said that his cancer had returned and that he would again seek treatment in Cuba.   (AP Photo/Miraflores Press Office, Marcelo Garcia)
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez kisses a crucifix during a speech last night in which he said that his cancer had returned and that he would again seek treatment in Cuba.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez kisses a crucifix during a speech last night in which he said that his cancer had returned and that he would again seek treatment in Cuba.   (AP Photo/Miraflores Press Office, Marcelo Garcia)
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