July 3 - New video from Cuba shows Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez walking with his daughters as the government downplayed health concerns. Deborah Gembara reports.
New video from Cuba shows Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez walking with his daughters and chatting with his foreign minister. These are the first images of the Venezuelan leader since his announcement last week that he has cancer. The state's release of the new video is an effort to quiet concerns about his condition ahead of next year's presidential election. Venezuela's foreign minister Nicolas Maduro. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Venezuela's Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro saying: "Everyone should be confident that President Chavez, in the first place, that a cancerous tumor was detected on time. The tumor was removed, what is usually referred to as completely incapsulated. He's started an almost miraculous and ascending process of physical recovery of his strength and health. He is dedicated to the attention needed for his recovery that is being supported by some of the best doctors in the world, both Cuban and Venezuelan." Chavez's cancer surgery in Cuba has stoked fears about a power vaccum back home. His opponents say his absence presents a security risk and have called for him to delegate his powers. Recent polls show his popularity being hurt by economic worries, high crimes and chronic power outtages. On the streets of Caracas , thousands turned out in support of the ailing leader. So far, the president hasn't given a date for his return. Deborah Gembara, Reuters.