In video Chavez describes recovery as "rapid"

In this photo released by Miraflores Press Office Sunday March 4, 2012, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez holds up a Saturday copy of Cuban newspaper, Granma during a televised speech at an undisclosed location in Havana, Cuba, Saturday March 3, 2012. Chavez appeared on television Sunday for the first time in nine days during which he underwent surgery in Cuba to remove a tumor. Chavez spoke firmly in footage recorded Saturday in Havana. (AP Photo/Miraflores Press Office/Marcelo Garcia) Marcelo Garcia

In a photo released Sunday by Miraflores Press Office, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez holds up a Saturday copy of Cuban newspaper, Granma during a televised speech at an undisclosed location in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, March 3, 2012.
AP Photo/Miraflores Press Office/Marcelo Garcia
(CBS News) HAVANA - Describing his recovery from surgery as "frank, progressive and rapid," Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made a pre-recorded appearance aired on television today. It's the first video of Chavez since undergoing an operation in Cuba to remove a tumor.

An animated Chavez noted that it still "hasn't been six days because the operation ended on the night of last Sunday."

The recording was of Chavez surrounded by several members of his cabinet and his brother Adan Chavez. As proof that it was taped yesterday Chavez held up a Saturday copy of the official Cuban Communist Party daily "Granma," and a copy of the Venezuelan government paper Correo del Orinoco.

It appears to have been shot in the same room where earlier this week Chavez was visited by the former and current Cuban presidents, Fidel and Raul Castro. Both Venezuelan and Cuban media released still photos of their meeting.

Cuba releases photos of convalescing Chavez

The growth removed by a team of Cuban doctors in Havana is said to have been in the same area of the pelvis where a malignant baseball-sized tumor was removed in June 2011.

Speaking firmly and at great length, Chavez focused on the upcoming elections and domestic situation in Venezuela voicing confidence in the advance of his government's policies.

Cuban radio announced that Chavez would make an appearance on local TV this morning, but in the end the video was aired only by official Venezuelan television and Caracas-based Telesur.

  • Portia Siegelbaum

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