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Venezuela's Chavez: I'm free of cancer
Hugo Chavez says he is free of cancer following series of chemotherapy treatments in Cuba
By The Associated Press

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) ' Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he is free of cancer after a series of chemotherapy treatments in Cuba.

In a statement broadcast live on radio and television stations, the 57-year-old leader said Thursday that he is "free of illness."

Chavez added that an MRI and other examinations showed "there are no malignant cells active in this body."



Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba in June to remove a cancerous tumor from his pelvic region. He has not revealed what kind of cancer he has.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) ' Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he is returning to his country on Thursday after undergoing a series of medical tests in Cuba.

A message on Chavez's Twitter account says he will travel directly to the southwestern town of La Grita to "keep a promise" at a church where there is an image of Christ well known to Venezuelans.

Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez told state television that it would be a visit of "faith, hope and giving thanks" by the president.

Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba in June to remove a cancerous tumor from his pelvic region.

The 57-year-old president has since finished with a series of chemotherapy treatments and says he is confident he will beat the illness.


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