Chavez chemotherapy under way in Cuba

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez faced a second gruelling day of chemotherapy treatment for cancer in Cuba Monday but managed to sound upbeat in a post on the microblogging site Twitter.

"Good morning Happy World! Good morning Beautiful Venezuela!! From here, ready for another day of the battle for life. We will live and win! Love you all!!" Chavez, a big fan and frequent user of Twitter, tweeted.

His blog showed two photos of the firebrand leftist leader wearing the football jersey of the Venezuelan team, which defeated Chile 2-1 on Sunday to reach the semifinals of the Copa America in Argentina.

Handout picture released by www.cubadebate.cu of Cuban President Raul Castro greeting his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez (C) with his daughter Rosa Virginia (R) upon arrival at the Jose Marti international airport in Havana early morning on July 17, 2011.

Chavez watched the game on television with Cuba's revolutionary icon and former leader Fidel Castro, a key ally and mentor who visited him in the medical center where he is being treated.

The 56-year-old Venezuelan leader, who underwent surgery in Cuba last month and later disclosed it was to remove a cancerous growth, transferred limited powers in hopes of quelling criticism from political opponents back home.

"It is not time for dying; it's time to live," Chavez said in Caracas before departing Saturday.

Chavez has delegated for the first time a modicum of administrative control to his vice president, Elias Jaua, with the ability to sign his orders.

The president said he would hand over his full presidential powers to Jaua only "if I felt my abilities were impaired."

Chavez also issued a decree giving Finance Minister Jorge Giordani additional powers over economic issues.

The ailing Venezuelan leader was greeted warmly by Cuban President Raul Castro at Havana airport upon his arrival late Saturday.

A photo released by official state media showed Chavez holding the hand of a young woman presumed to be his daughter Rosa.

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AFP

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