Hugo Chávez denies rumors of his own death

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez greets supporters from the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas on April 13.

It had be an unsually long silence and President Hugo Chávez today decided to end it, putting paid to reported rumors in Venezuela that he had died during cancer treatment in Cuba, according to Reuters.

The news agency had reported earlier today that governing party officials had openly rejected such reports and attacked opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, who will challenge Chávez for the presidency in six months but is expected to lose.

These were Chávez's first audible remarks since leaving for Cuba on April 14. He had only spoken via Twitter since then.

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"It seems we will have to become accustomed to live with these rumors, because it is part of the laboratories of psychological war, of dirty war," Chávez was quoted as saying in a telephone call rom Havana that was aired on state television.

According to The Associated Press, Chávez said he planned to return home by Thursday after finnishing his latest round of cancer treatment.

Venezuelan officials have not revealed precisely what kind of cancern Chávez has.

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The AP said Chávez had described his radiation therapy as "rough" and that he would need time to recover before returning to Cuba for more radiation.