Chavez phones TV over death rumour


Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez (57) telephoned state TV yesterday, ending a virtual silence of nine days that had triggered rumours that he had died while undergoing cancer treatment in Cuba.

“It seems we will have to become accustomed to live with these rumours, because it is part of the . . . dirty war,” said the socialist leader in the phone call from Havana where he is undergoing treatment.

In the nine days since he left for Havana to have two final radiation sessions for an undisclosed cancer, Mr Chavez has only addressed Venezuelans by Twitter to cheer supporters and hail the advances of his socialist “revolution”. His silence stirred speculation about his health and doubts over his re-election in an October vote. – (Reuters)