Hugo Chavez Calls Doctor "Liar" After Claiming He's Dying From Cancer
Hugo Chavez has said a doctor who has reportedly never treated him and who claims that he has only two years to live is a "liar."
The Venezuelan president had a cancerous tumor removed in June but has remained secretive about the details and gravity of his ailment, AFP reports.
However, Venezuelan doctor Salvador Navarrete said he was part of Chavez's medical team until 2002. Chavez says Navarrete must have been paid to claim he was dying.
Navarrete, who said he obtained the health information from Chavez’s family, told Mexico's Milenio magazine that Chavez has an aggressive type of cancer known as sarcoma.
Soon after making the comments, Navarrete fled Venezuela, fearing for his safety. Chavez said yesterday, "He's a big fat liar. I hope he shows his face,” AFP reports.
"He presents himself as a doctor of my family -- he isn't. He says that he operated on my mother -- he didn't," Chavez said.
Chavez concedes he used to have a medical team, but that Navarrete "never performed a single test on me."
In June, Chavez had a tumor extracted from his pelvic area in Havana, and has undergone four rounds of chemotherapy, reports AFP.
On October 20, he declared himself cancer-free, but few details of his disease have been publicized.
"I've told the truth, I feel completely cured, the medical tests show that we've turned the page. Of course, we'll have to be careful that the disease does not reappear,” Chavez said, AFP reports.
57-year-old Chavez, who has been in power since 1999, has maintained that he will be healthy enough to win the presidential reelection in 2012.