December 13, 2012
CARACAS (Deutsche Presse-Agentur) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez suffered "complications" from bleeding during cancer surgery in Havana but is recovering well, Venezuelan authorities said Thursday.
Chavez had a haemorrhage during Tuesday's surgery requiring "corrective measures ... to be duly brought under control," Venezuelan Information Minister Ernesto Villegas announced in a live statement aired on all major Venezuelan television and radio networks.
Chavez is being treated in Havana for an unspecified form of pelvic cancer. The surgery was his fourth since he was first diagnosed with cancer in June 2011.
Villegas said that the 58-year-old president was making a "progressive and favourable recovery" and concluded with the declaration of "Long live Chavez!"
Before leaving for Cuba, Chavez for the first time spoke publicly of a successor, saying Vice President Nicolas Maduro, 50, should replace him for the remainder of his term if there are "circumstances that prevent me from exercising the presidency further."
"It is absolutely necessary that I undergo another operation because new malignant cells have been found. I have to return to Havana," he said over the weekend.
Chavez, who has governed Venezuela since 1999, won re-election on October 7 with 55 per cent of the vote to another six-year term starting January 10.
He has never said precisely what form of cancer is affecting him.
Venezuela is due to hold regional elections Sunday. The opposition has demanded more transparency regarding the state of Chavez's health and accused the government of making political use of the president's troubles.
Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH