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Chavez Doesn’t Have Cancer and Will Return Home Soon, Ally Says

An ally of Hugo Chavez denied that the Venezuelan president is suffering from cancer as speculation over his condition mounts more than two weeks after undergoing unannounced surgery in Cuba.

Fernando Soto Rojas, the leader of the National Assembly, said yesterday “I would be the first to tell the country” if Chavez had cancer. The lawmaker said that Chavez continues to recover from an operation to remove a pelvic abscess and should return to Venezuela in time to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the nation’s independence from Spain on July 5.