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Hugo Chavez says he is free of cancer, ready for elections

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Monday said he is fully recovered from cancer and ready to return to his campaign for re-election in October.

Chavez supporters 2012 6 12Enlarge
Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez attend a massive rally after he registered his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election. (AFP/Getty Images)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Monday said he is fully recovered from cancer and ready to return to his campaign for re-election in October.

Chavez said at a news conference that he is "totally free" of cancer and will soon start actively campaigning again following months of radiation treatment, physical rehabilitation and medical exams, reported the Associated Press. The president has undergone two surgeries to remove tumors from his pelvic region in the past 13 months, but has not disclosed details about his illness, including which type of cancer has been diagnosed.

"I feel in better physical condition every day," he said to the AP.

More from GlobalPost: Venezuela President Hugo Chavez launches campaign for re-election

Chavez's four-hours news conference was a way for the president to show voters his increasing energy levels, and he promised to start hitting the streets for his campaign with a series of caravans in Venezuela starting Thursday, according to the Daily Mail.

"Now is when I'm stepping into the action. Our offensive begins right now! Chavez is back in the street, the Bolivarian hurricane!' he said, referring to his spiritual idol and Venezuela's independence hero, Simon Bolivar.

The 57-year-old leader, who took power of Venezuela in 1999, was first diagnosed with cancer in the pelvic region mid-last year, reported Reuters. He declared himself free of cancer at the end of 2011, but suffered a relapse in February.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/venezuela/120710/hugo-chavez-says-he-free-cancer-ready-elections