Caracus: A top US ambassador to Venezuela has claimed that cancer-stricken country’s President Hugo Chávez may not live beyond six months, and that the disease might claim his life before the next presidential elections.
The Miami Herald quoted Roger Noriega, as saying that US officials believe it is unlikely that Chavez would run in the next election.
Noriega’s statement comes in the wake of critics accusing Chavez of giving an incomplete report on his illness.
Noriega said government documents indicate that cancer is spreading faster in his body than expected, the Daily Mail reports.
“The international team of doctors in charge of treating Hugo Chávez’s cancer does not expect him to live more than six months,” he added.
“His physical deterioration is speeding more rapidly than his doctors had predicted and, despite this serious situation, Chávez has insisted on receiving low doses of chemotherapy to avoid long absences from the political scene during this fragile period,” he said.
Noriega said doctors think Chavez’s decision to reduce the chemotherapy dose might hit his health severely.
Venezuelan leaders are worried about how they would put across the news of deteriorating Chavez’s health to the public, who have been made to believe that their president is ``healed``, he further said.
Chavez had earlier denied rumours about his ill- health and had claimed that he was expecting to complete his cancer treatment.
Chavez underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his pelvic region in June.