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Venezuela's Hugo Chavez says he is cancer-free

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he has conquered his undisclosed type of cancer after a series of chemotherapy treatments in Cuba.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez smiles at a meeting in Caracas, Venezuela on Oct. 15. (Efrain Gonzalez/Miraflores Press Office)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he has conquered his undisclosed type of cancer following a series of chemotherapy treatments in Cuba.

Chavez travelled to the island nation to have a cancerous tumour surgically removed from his pelvic region in June.

The 57-year-old leader returned to Cuba in early October to have his condition re-evaluated. In a statement broadcast Thursday, he said that he is now "free of illness."

Chavez added that an MRI and other examinations showed "there are no malignant cells active in this body."

Speculations surrounding Chavez's illness were serious enough to spur succession talks in recent months.

The Venezuelan President has held onto power since 1999, and has pledged to run for re-election next year. He has said he is drafting a national development plan that would run through 2030.

With files from the Associated Press