Chavez: 'Not a malignant cell in this body'

In a government photo, Hugo Chavez speaks next to daughter Rosa Virginia before taking a plane to Cuba on Sunday.

Story highlights

  • Venezuelan leader says he has beaten cancer
  • He was in Cuba for some medical tests
  • The experience made him more religious, he said

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, back in his home country after five days of medical tests in Cuba, said Thursday that he was cured from the cancer he was diagnosed with this year.

"There are no malignant cells in this body. They don't exist," Chavez said during a visit to the state of Tachira, which borders Colombia. He was there to give thanks to Santo Cristo de la Grita, a statue depicting Jesus Christ.

Just four months ago, Chavez underwent emergency surgery in Cuba after he was found to have cancer.

"In these four months that have passed, we can say that a vital stage has concluded in the treatment of the illness that surprised me," Chavez said.

The tests he underwent in Cuba in the past days showed that his body had healed from his surgery and that chemotherapy left no toxins in his organs, he said.

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Chavez said that the period seemed longer than four months and that during the ordeal, felt more Christian than before.

His health registered a perfect score, he said, adding that he will continue to monitor himself.

In June, he announced that doctors in Cuba had removed a cancerous tumor from his body. He has not said what type of cancer it was.

Chavez has undergone treatments in both Venezuela and Cuba.

Last month, the president was in Cuba for what he said was his fourth and possibly final round of chemotherapy.

Chavez has pledged to run for re-election next year, dismissing speculation that his illness would force him out of politics.

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