Doctors who have been treating Hugo Chavez for cancer say the Venezuelan president is in fine health and his prognosis is excellent. They spoke out to challenge remarks by surgeon Salvador Navarrete suggesting the opposite.
Chavez, who underwent surgery in Cuba to remove a tumour and has been having chemotherapy, says tests found no sign of malignant cells.
“The President, from the standpoint of cancer has been diagnosed and treated early. Subject to the appropriate follow-up treatments, the current status is quite satisfactory with an excellent prognosis,” Dr. Fidel Ramirez said in a televised press conference.
“Navarrete was not Chavez’s physician, a trusted party or his family,” Ramirez said, adding that Navarrete had no scientific evidence or understanding of Chavez’s condition.
Navarrete, in an open letter published by local media, said he has since fled the country, fearing for his safety after an interview published a week ago quoted him saying Chavez would be dead in two years.
Navarrete attended to Chavez a decade ago and claims he is in touch with some relatives and members of his medical team.
In his letter, Navarrete said the interview with Mexico’s Milenio Semanal magazine was intended to combat official secrecy over Chavez’s condition. He stood by his original prognosis of Chavez, which caused an uproar