Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez left his native Venezuela for Cuba on Monday, announcing that he would undergo further cancer treatment.
We're in the home stretch, Chavez said of his radiation therapy treatment during a ceremony in which he signed a new labor law before boarding a plane bound for Havana.
At the ceremony, Chavez called for Venezuela to withdraw from the Organization of American States' Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a Washington-based body that he described as a platform for the U.S. to harm Venezuelan interests, CNN reported.
Chavez said he would return after several days, and that he hoped that after a few weeks, he would be able to go out traveling around the beloved streets of my homeland, the beloved countryside of Venezuela, CBS reported.
They aren't easy days, but we're a warrior for facing adversity, and with faith in God and Christ the Redeemer, and with that immense love of the Venezuelan people and with this will to live, to fight ... we'll get through this, he added.
Chavez, 57, has been traveling back and forth between Venezuela and Cuba for cancer treatments since last June. He recently returned from Cuba last Thursday from an 11-day trip, during which rumors of his death arose, prompting Chavez to call into the state TV station to prove he was still alive.
It seems we will have to become accustomed to living with these rumors, because it is part of the laboratories of psychological war, of dirty war, he said in the phone call, Reuters reported.
Chavez and the Venezuela government have provided little information about what type of cancer he has, though he is believed to have been diagnosed with colon cancer. CBS reported that Chavez had a tumor removed from his pelvic region last June.
Chavez blamed his political opponents for spreading the rumors, which have contributed to a tense political climate as the country's presidential elections approach in October. Chavez has said he will seek a third six-year term as the candidate for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.