President Hugo Chavez has returned to Venezuela nearly three weeks after undergoing cancer surgery in Cuba, Latin American media reported on Saturday.
Chavez flew to Cuba on February 24 after doctors detected a new formation in roughly the same spot in the pelvic region where he had a malignant tumor that was removed in the summer of 2011. Chavez has declined to identify the type of cancer he was diagnosed with.
In an interview with the Columbian radio station Caracol on Friday, Venezuelan doctor Jose Rafael Marquina, who is known for his accurate prognoses for Chavez’s health, said tumor metastases have spread to his liver, adrenal glands and other internal organs.
“Unfortunately, the president’s condition is not very good, his tumor cannot be cured,” Marquina said. “He will not live long.”
Chavez has denied reports that the cancer had metastasized. Despite his deteriorating health, the 57-year-old president, who has ruled Venezuela for 13 years, is hoping to be re-elected for another six-year presidential term in October. His only competitor is 39-year-old state governor Henrique Capriles.