Venezuela's Chavez Heads To Cuba For Medical Treatment

by
Reuters
Following a nearly two-week absence from the public eye, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will travel to Cuba on Tuesday for medical treatment, months after he underwent chemotherapy and radiation for cancer there.

Following a nearly two-week absence from the public eye, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will travel to Cuba on Tuesday for medical treatment, months after he underwent chemotherapy and radiation for cancer there.

Chavez, 58, staged what appeared to be a remarkable comeback from an undisclosed type of cancer diagnosed in June 2011, and traveled frequently to Cuba for chemotherapy and radiation therapy in the subsequent months.

In October, he was re-elected for a third term.

Venezuela's Congress on Tuesday gave him permission to return to the Communist-run island for additional medical treatment.

"Six months after I completed the last radiation therapy treatment, it has been recommended that I begin a special treatment consisting of various sessions of hyperbaric oxygenation," Chavez wrote in a letter to the legislature read by congressional leader Diosdado Cabello, a Chavez ally.

"Together with physical therapy, (this) will consolidate the process of strengthening my health."

Hyperbaric oxygenation involves breathing pure oxygen while in a pressurized chamber, according to the American Cancer Society.

Cabello made no mention of cancer.