Hugo Chávez announced that he will be returning to his home country within the next few days. The Venezuelan president has been in Havana, Cuba since late February, undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.
“The president has been in a very good mood on the cusp of his return this week,” announced the communication and information minister Andres Izarra via Twitter.
Izarra additionally posted photos of the president in seemingly high spirits on Monday, during a birthday celebration for Maria Gabriela, one of Chávez’s daughters.
Since the president’s admission to the Cuban hospital, he has kept in close contact with government officials, who have relayed the information to Venezuelan news sources.
“In the next few hours I’ll be there,” he told vice president Elías Jaua in a telephone call that was transmitted by the state. “We are making adjustments, but in the next days I will be listening to the roosters, throwing food to the parrot … and working toward the happiness of our people.”
Chávez underwent surgery on 26 February, for what he described as a tumor recurrence. The president was diagnosed with cancer last June, and has since received several rounds of chemotherapy. He has now begun further radiation therapy in Cuba.
Chávez has repeatedly assured the public that he plans to promptly resume his campaign for reelection on October 7. If successful, it will be the president’s third consecutive term.