Argentines have been reacting to the news that their president, Christiana Fernandez de Kirchner, 58, is to undergo surgery for thyroid cancer next week.
One woman showed her concern saying, “We want the best thing for her obviously as our president. It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum I am. I want her to get well soon.”
Fernandez’s cancer scare comes less than a month since she was sworn in for a second four-year term after winning a landslide re-election in October.
After surgery, doctors say she has a high chance of recovery.
She told reporters: “First of all, I want to say thanks for the showing of solidarity and affection from all Argentines and also from my presidential friends. You can imagine who was the first to call me last night. I finished work at ten and there was a phone call for me. So I answered it at the residency and it was Hugo Chavez. He was the first president to call.”
Chavez is among several Latin American leaders currently being treated for cancer. The coincidence of so many leaders suffering from the disease has caused him to speculate.
“Would it be that strange if the US had developed a technology to induce cancer? I don’t know. I’m only passing on the thought but this is very, very odd that we all have the disease,” said the Venezuelan president.
Chavez and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo both underwent chemotherapy recently while former Brazilian leader Lula da Silva is still undergoing treatment.