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Hugo Chavez will need surgery to remove lesion

The Venezuelan government called rumors of Hugo Chavez's deteriorating health part of a "dirty war."

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L) jokes with US actor Sean Penn during his visit to Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, on February 16, 2012. The Venezuelan government denied rumors that Chavez had to go to Cuba for emergency medical treatment after rumors began circulating about the Venezuelan leader's health. (LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

President Hugo Chavez told state television on Tuesday that doctors in Cuba had found a new lesion in the same area which had been operated upon last year, according to the Associated Press.

He said, "It is a small lesion of about 2 centimeters (less than 1 inch) in diameter, very clearly visible." Chavez has received four rounds of chemotherapy and claims he is cancer-free, denying that the cancer has spread to his liver, said the AP.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Venezuelan government denied rumors that Chavez was in Cuba getting urgent cancer treatment over the weekend, according to Reuters.

Reuters said prominent Venezuelan journalist Nelson Bocaranda, who has opposition leanings, wrote on Monday that Chavez had returned to Cuba for treatment after his trip last June when he had surgery in Havana to remove a tumor from his pelvis.

Information Minister Andres Izarra called the rumor part of a “dirty war” launched by the opposition ahead of the October elections, and Diosdado Cabello, the leader of the Venezuelan Congress, said that Chavez was healthy, according to Reuters.

Cabello said on Twitter: “Bocaranda is sick in his soul. Every day he wishes for the death of the commandante, or is it that someone is paying him to write his lies?"

Bocaranda was the journalist who broke the news last year of Chavez traveling to Cuba for medical treatment, said Reuters. The Venezuelan president has not revealed his health records, but said he is completely recovered as he runs for another six-year term in office.

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Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that Venezuelan bonds “rallied on speculation President Hugo Chavez’s health is worsening.”

Russell Dallen, a head bond trader at Caracas Capital Markets in Miami, told Bloomberg in an email, “The health rumor has put a bid under Venezuela bonds among those hoping for regime change.”

Henrique Capriles Radonski, the state governor who is challenging Chavez at the polls, won 1.8 million out of 3 million votes in a turnout that was double that predicted by analysts, said The Washington Post.

Fox News Latino reported that Chavez appeared in public on Tuesday, the day after the unconfirmed reports claimed he had received emergency medical treatment over the weekend in Cuba.

Chavez’s appearance at the Veneminsk tractor factory was televised on a government-financed television channel, said Fox.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/venezuela/120221/hugo-chavez-cancer-treatments-rumor-false-venezuela