Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, 57, has arrived in Cuba where he will undergo surgery for removal of what he says is likely a cancerous tumor.
Chavez had surgery and chemotherapy last year in Cuba to remove a cancerous growth from his pelvic region. Chavez later said he was cancer-free.
Cuba and Venezuela are staunch allies, and President Chavez enjoys a warm relationship with the former and current Cuban leaders, Fidel Castro and his brother Raul.
Chavez will be governing Venezuela from Cuba. He did not delegate authority to Vice President Elias Jaua.
President Chavez has ruled Venezuela for 13 years and is hoping to be re-elected for another six-year term in October. His opponent will be Henrique Capriles, 39, who was chosen as the sole opposition candidate in a primary earlier this month.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.