CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez is said to be recovering in Cuba after an operation for an aggressive cancer that has defied multiple treatments.
Speaking after the surgery on Venezuelan television, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Chavez's operation was "complex" but was completed "correctly and successfully." It's the fourth cancer-related operation that Chavez has undergone since June 2011.
Three days before the operation, Chavez announced that he needed to have surgery again after tests showed "some malignant cells" had reappeared in the same area of the pelvic region where tumors were previously removed.
The 58-year-old Chavez won re-election in October and is due to be sworn in for a new six-year term on Jan. 10.
APPHOTO XFLL105: People, one holding an image of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, gather to pray for him at Simon Bolivar square in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. Doctors began operating on Chavez in Cuba, his government said, after his cancer reappeared despite a year and a half of surgeries and treatments. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano) (11 Dec 2012)
<<APPHOTO XFLL105 (12/11/12)>>
APPHOTO XRE101: In this picture provided Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012 by Cuba's state newspaper Granma, Cuba's President Raul Castro, right, receives Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez at the Jose Marti International airport in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. Chavez arrived in Cuba on Monday for a fourth cancer-related operation after designating the vice president as his political heir. (AP Photo/Granma) (10 Dec 2012)
<<APPHOTO XRE101 (12/10/12)>>