Medical team optimistic about outcome of Chávez's surgery


Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez was preparing to undergo an operation yesterday to treat an unspecified form of cancer, information minister Ernesto Villegas said.

“The medical team has started pre-operative protocol for surgery,” he said in a national address. “The medical team is optimistic about this operation for the recovery of Chávez’s health.”

Mr Chavez named a long-time ally with close ties to Cuba as his heir apparent before travelling to Cuba for a fourth operation in 18 months that he said contained “an undeniable risk”.

The self-declared socialist urged Venezuelans to vote for vice-president Nicolas Maduro if he was unable to remain in office as a result of his cancer.

Earlier yesterday, Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa said Mr Chávez was in surgery “this instant”, according to Marco Antonio Bravoat Ecuador’s communications secretariat. “We came to give him a hug in the name of the people of Ecuador,” he said. “Hugo Chávez is not alone in this fight.” – (Bloomberg)