I need to take good care of myself: Hugo

Venezuela President Hugo Chavez said on  Tuesday he needs to take good care of his health after doctors in Cuba found a new lesion in the same place where a cancerous tumor was removed last year. Chavez said he will shortly return to the island to have it surgically removed.

He told Venezuelans he did not know if the lesion is malignant but that the probability is high, adding that they should not expect to see him in coming weeks as he will likely need localised radiation therapy. “I’m not going to be able to continue with the same rhythm,” Chavez told state TV via telephone, adding that he would need to “rethink my personal agenda and take care of myself, confront what must be confronted.”

The announcement thrust Venezuelan politics into new uncertainty because the socialist leader is seeking re-election this year, hoping to extend his more than 13 years in power with a new six-year term.

Initialy announcing the lesion in an afternoon state TV appearance from his home state of Barinas, Chavez said the lesion was about "two centimeters (less than one inch) in diameter, very clearly visible."

Chavez, 57, did not say when he would depart for Cuba.

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