CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez said Monday that tests taken Sunday in Cuba went "well" and that he would begin his second stage of chemotherapy.
Chavez, who is being treated for an undisclosed type of cancer, returned to Cuba on Saturday for what he said would be more than a week. He said Monday that he's gaining muscle mass and is recovering to be able to continue leading his so-called Bolivarian revolution. Radiation therapy may be needed after the chemotherapy, he said.
"All of my exams, from blood work to tests of my organs from the liver, kidneys to the heart came out well," Chavez said Monday on state television by telephone from Havana. "I'm gaining weight again and in very high spirits."
Chavez, a 57-year-old former paratrooper, has ruled South America's largest oil-producing country since 1999. He has vowed to run for re-election next year and win another six-year term, which would end in 2019. Chavez was operated on to remove a "baseball-sized" tumor from his pelvis on June 20. The government has declined to release further details on his health, including what kind of cancer he is fighting.