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Bolivian President Says Venezuela's Chávez Is Working Toward Return

A man walks past a mural of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, on Jan. 11.
AFP/Getty Images
A man walks past a mural of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, on Jan. 11.

Bolivian President Evo Morales gave a positive status update on his ally Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

According to Bloomberg News, Morales said he was in communication with the ailing leader.

"I have good news that our brother comandante President Chavez is already in physiotherapy in order to return to his country," Morales is quoted as saying. "We hope to be alongside him at international events as we have always been."

As we've reported, Chávez, who is receiving cancer treatment in Cuba, was too ill to return home for his inauguration. Reports about his health have been sparse and lacking detail.

But reading the tea leaves, things seem to be looking up for Chávez. Yesterday, his foreign minister, Elias Jaua tweeted some more positive news about Chávez's health.

"Compatriots, I've just left a meeting with our President and commander Hugo Chávez," Jaua tweeted. "We shared jokes and laughed."

The AP reports that those two statements point to some improvement for Chávez. One of Chávez's brothers told the AP that everyone was "eager for his return" and it could happen within "days." The AP adds:

"The president hasn't been seen or spoken publicly since he left for Cuba on Dec. 10 for his fourth cancer-related operation.

"The president's younger brother said he recently saw and talked with Chavez in Havana, though he didn't specify when or say how the president looked. He said that Chavez remained in Cuba accompanied by his children."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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