Venezuelan state television aired new footage Wednesday of President Hugo Chávez, whose prolonged stay in Cuba after surgery has triggered speculation about his health.
The footage showed the 56-year-old president walking and talking with his friend, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. The two are seen in a garden in Cuba, where Chávez underwent emergency surgery June 10.
President Chávez appeared lucid and talkative, as he and Castro discussed content in Cuba’s state-run newspaper Granma. The footage, which included audio from the conversation, was shot on Tuesday. Portions of the footage, without audio, aired Tuesday on Cuban television.
Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jaua told state television the video is evidence Chávez is on the road to recovery.
Authorities have said President Chavez’s June 10 operation was for an abscess in his pelvic area. But his prolonged stay in Havana has sparked rumors he may have cancer.
Meanwhile, Venezuela says it has canceled a summit of Latin American leaders scheduled for next week in Caracas, due to Chavez’s health status.