Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is recovering well from his battle with pelvic cancer, according to a statement issued by his close friend and retired revolutionary Cuban leader, Fidel Castro.
While Chavez has not been seen or heard from since December 11, 2012, reported Dawn.com, the Venezuelan president is rumored to be in an exclusive hospital in Havanna, Cuba.
Fidel Castro told the media he is receiving daily updates on his fellow leader’s health.
“He is much better, recovering. It has been a tough struggle, but he has been improving,” Castro was quoted as saying by Communist Party newspaper Granma, reports The Washington Post. “We have to cure him. Chavez is very important for his country and for Latin America.”
While no specific cancer has been named as the culprit deteriorating Hugo Chavez’s health, reports earlier in 2012 indicated the Venezuelan president possibly had rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer which occurs primarily in children under the age of ten. Later on in 2012 and early 2013, reports surfaced that prostate cancer was rather the issue Hugo Chavez was working to overcome, and his many surgeries and therapies to get rid of this cancer had been complicated by a post-surgical respiratory infection.
According to a report from the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Pablo, medical records on President Chavez have revealed he is in fact suffering from prostate cancer, and instead of visiting a urologist in his country of residence, he flew to Cuba where medical records would be kept private.
So far, only the respiratory infection has been confirmed by officials speaking on the president’s health.
“The respiratory infection is under control,” but Chavez “still requires specific measures for a solution to respiratory insufficiency,” said Information Minister Ernesto Villegas in a statement on state television soon after reports of the infection made headlines. “The president is conscious, communicating with his family, his political team and the medical team treating him.”
Beyond a few statements from government officials, much of Hugo Chavez’s condition has been kept secret. Even though Fidel Castro’s words may indicate Chavez is improving, no mention has been made of when he might return home. The Venezuelan leader was too ill to attend his own inauguration ceremony in January, but refused to relinquish his command over the country before leaving for Cuba.