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On June 16, 13 soldiers were killed in an ambush with PKK rebels in Diyarbakir province, the worst loss of life for the army since October 2008.

VENEZUELA

Chavez sings, recites poem in first post-chemo show

CARACAS | Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sang and recited a poem in honor of independence hero Simon Bolivar on Sunday, appearing upbeat and energetic after his first week of chemotherapy in Cuba.

Mr. Chavez said in a televised speech that he is optimistic he will survive cancer, but added that risks remain and that he is under strict orders from his doctors to limit his agenda. After returning to Caracas from treatment in Cuba on Saturday night, Mr. Chavez said thorough tests have found no signs that any cancer cells have reappeared.

The Venezuelan president spoke at the childhood home of Bolivar on the anniversary of his birth, praising the legacy of the founding father after whom the president named his socialist-inspired Bolivarian Revolution movement. Mr. Chavez declared: “Long live Simon Bolivar, now and forever!”

Mr. Chavez also recited a poem about Bolivar by leftist Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, and sang outside the house with a folk music group while a crowd of supporters cheered.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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