Chavez aiming to return to Venezuela – Bolivian leader

LA PAZ,  (Reuters) – Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez is undergoing physical therapy to hasten his return home after he underwent cancer surgery in Cuba last month, Bolivian President Evo Morales said today.

“I communicated with Cuba and, brothers and sisters, we have good news about our brother, President Hugo Chavez. He is already undergoing physical therapy to return to his country,” said Morales, a fellow leftist and Chavez ally.

“Latin American leaders like Fidel (Castro) and Hugo Chavez are very much needed at international events and I’m certain that soon we will be (together again) at presidential summits,” Morales added during a speech in La Paz.

On Monday, Venezuela’s foreign minister said Chavez was joking and giving instructions again, the latest positive comment from an official six weeks after the president’s disappearance from public sight for cancer treatment.

Rumors earlier this month that Chavez, 58, was on life support have given way in the last few days to speculation that he may soon return to Venezuela.

Venezuelans are debating whether Chavez may be able to recover well enough to continue governing, or wants to come home to smooth a handover of power.

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