Photo: Hugo Chavez
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez broke his weeklong silence to say that “unfortunately” he will not continue being that “runaway” horse that never slept, and said he now works only eight hours a day and sometimes less.
“I must accept it and here I am accepting it and I confess it to the country: unfortunately I will not continue to be that runaway horse out there,” Chavez told state-run VTV television Friday with reference to the repose doctors ordered and that, he said, kept him shut away all week.
The socialist president said he continues to recover from the last cycle of radiation therapy, that he is currently working only eight hours a day or less and that he is resting and keeping to a diet, doctors’ recommendations that he is “strictly” following.
Chavez underwent radiation therapy after having a cancerous tumor removed last February, a reoccurrence of the cancer he suffered almost a year ago.
“I’ve spent this week shut away here, working but strictly following doctors’ orders to recover as quickly as possible from the normal effects of radiation therapy, and I’m gradually getting better,” he said.
He said that he asked God to give him “the strength of a buffalo rather than that of a horse” to sustain his health and “get well once and for all.”
In the interview, the president expressed his satisfaction at this week’s announcement that the economy grew at a 5.6 percent clip in the first quarter.
Less than five months until Venezuela’s presidential elections, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles is slipping in the polls and now trails Chavez by a significant margin.
Analysts say the reasons for his lackluster showing in the polls include the fact that his campaign still lacks a mass presence in the country and because voters’ attention is largely focused on Chavez’s health issues.
Nonetheless, the same analysts say that there is still time in the 4 1/2 months remaining for Capriles to gain sufficient voter preference to win the election, though he must climb at least 17 percentage points to overtake Chavez.