CARACAS – President Hugo Chavez said in a videotape broadcast Tuesday on all Venezuelan television networks that he has forgiven all those who have desired his death and he reiterated his faith in God to help him overcome the cancer from which he is suffering.
“For those who have bad wishes for me, I pardon them ... I have great faith in what we’re doing in this intense work against the disease that ambushed me last year... To live, to continue living and each additional day to continue giving this life to a people, to a revolution,” the leftist leader said.
The new images come after on Monday Chavez, who has been in Cuba since April 14 to undergo radiation therapy, quashed rumors about an alleged worsening in his health.
He said in the video that he had made a kind “of pact” with God “for the treatment” that he is “rigorously following to have supreme success” and that he can “continue stepping up the pace.”
During his message the president read headlines from Monday’s dailies and chatted with Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro.
Appearing on the videotape was his daughter Rosa and one of his grandchildren, along with Chavez, who was dressed in sports clothing and seemed to be quite agile.
Chavez commented on a survey that shows him with a lead of 19 percentage points over his main rival in the Oct. 7 presidential election, Henrique Capriles.
The president said that “we’re going to continue consolidating” that lead.
He also used the occasion to criticize remarks that U.S. President Barack Obama made before traveling to Colombia for the Summit of the Americas two weeks ago when he demanded “free and fair elections (in Venezuela) where the people’s will is respected.”
“Nowhere on this planet is there an electoral system as transparent, efficient and good” as Venezuela’s Chavez said.
The Venezuelan leader underwent surgery on Feb. 26 in Havana for the recurrence of a tumor that was removed in June 2011 – also in Cuba.
Chavez said the tumor was in the pelvic region but did not reveal its precise location. He underwent several rounds of chemotherapy after the initial surgery before announcing in October that he was cancer-free.
The Venezuelan leader has said that he has no metastasis and that he is certain of a full recovery. He has vowed not to abandon his bid for another term as president.
First elected in 1998, he won a vote held the following year under a new constitution, survived a recall referendum in 2004 and secured a six-year mandate in 2006.
International observers were present in Venezuela for all of those contests. EFE