Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez 'in good mood' after surgery
Wednesday 26 December 2012
Vice President Nicolas Maduro surprised Venezuelans with a Christmas Eve announcement that President Hugo Chavez is up and walking two weeks after cancer surgery in Cuba, but the news did little to ease uncertainty surrounding the leader's condition.
Sounding giddy, Mr Maduro told state television Venezolana de Television that he had spoken by phone with Mr Chavez for 20 minutes on Monday night.
It was the first time a top Venezuelan government official had confirmed talking personally with Mr Chavez since the December 11 operation, his fourth cancer surgery since 2011.
"He was in a good mood," Mr Maduro said. "He was walking, he was exercising."
Chavez supporters reacted with relief, but the statement inspired more questions, given the sparse information the Venezuelan government has provided so far about the president's cancer.
Mr Chavez has kept secret various details about his illness, including the precise location of the tumours and the type of cancer. His long-term prognosis remains a mystery.
Dr Michael Pishvaian, an oncologist at Georgetown University's Lombardi Cancer Centre in Washington, said it was an encouraging sign that Mr Chavez was walking, and it indicated he would be able to return to Venezuela relatively soon. But he said the long term outlook remained poor.
"It's definitely good news. It means that he is on the road to recover fully from the surgery," Mr Pishvaian said in a telephone interview.
"The overall prognosis is still pretty poor. He likely has a terminal diagnosis with his cancer that has come back."
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...