CARACAS - Physicians treating Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez disputed on Saturday claims made by a former doctor of the socialist leader that he would die within two years from his undisclosed cancer.
In the first official public comments on Chavez's health, three physicians dressed in laboratory coats at Venezuela's main military hospital said Salvador Navarrete was uninformed and had just minimal contact with the leader a decade ago.
"The President, from the standpoint of cancer has been diagnosed and treated early. Subject to the appropriate follow-up treatments, the current status is quite satisfactory with an excellent prognosis," Dr. Fidel Ramirez said in a televised midday press conference.
"Navarrete was not Chavez's physician, a trusted party or his family," Ramirez said, adding that Navarrete had no scientific evidence or understanding of Chavez's condition.