MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is expected to attend a regional summit in Uruguay today in what would be his first official trip abroad since undergoing cancer surgery in June, the Uruguayan foreign minister said yesterday.
The 57-year-old socialist leader says he has been completely cured after four chemotherapy sessions and he is keen to show supporters he has recovered as he prepares to stand for re-election in 2012.
“We’ve been informed that President Chavez should be attending the Mercosur summit,” Uruguayan Foreign Minister Luis Almagro told reporters in Montevideo, where presidents from the Mercosur trade bloc are due to meet.
Earlier this month, Chavez cancelled a planned trip to Argentina and Brazil, saying he had decided to stay home to manage an emergency response after heavy rains.
His last-minute cancellation stoked renewed speculation about his condition.
Apart from trips to Cuba for medical treatment, the normally globe-trotting Chavez has not been abroad since an operation to remove a large tumour from his pelvis in June.