CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday he is quickly recovering after undergoing surgery in Cuba last week for a pelvic abscess and noted that medical tests have shown no signs of any "malignant" illness.
Chavez, who is recuperating in Havana, said the operation has not slowed him down and he is diligently attending to day-to-day duties while closely following events in Venezuela.
"Each passing day I feel better," said Chavez, speaking during a brief telephone interview broadcast by the Caracas-based Telesur television network. "I've gone through biopsies, studies, microbiology, different laboratories and there's no sign of anything malignant."
A pelvic abscess is an accumulation of pus that can have various causes, including infection or complications from surgery.
Chavez recalled that he felt an acute pain in his pelvis during a meeting with Cuba's Fidel Castro and knew it was important to act quickly with the surgery. He said that Castro immediately expressed concern upon seeing Chavez in pain and urged him to undergo an operation.
Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said Chavez began to feel pain during a tour through Brazil and Ecuador, before he flew to Havana.
"We had to act quickly," Maduro said.
Supporters of Chavez gathered at plazas in several cities on Sunday to wish their leader a speedy recovery.
Carmen Zerpa said she felt reassured knowing that Chavez would bounce back.
"We're sad because this happened to you, but we feel better because we know you're going to recuperate," she said.
Last month, Chavez injured his knee while jogging, prompting the self-proclaimed socialist to postpone his trip to Brazil, Ecuador and Cuba.