A Venezuelan government spokesman says President Hugo Chavez has begun a new round of medical treatment in Cuba, after battling complications from cancer surgery performed more than a month ago.
Information Minister Ernesto Villegas, speaking Saturday, did not offer details of the newest treatment and did not provide new information on the cancer itself. But he said Chavez had overcome a respiratory infection, while adding "there still is some degree of breathing difficulty that is being treated appropriately."
The Venezuelan leader underwent a six-hour surgical procedure in December in Havana -- his fourth such surgery since he was diagnosed with cancer in mid-2011. The president has never disclosed the type or severity of the cancer, which is said to be in his pelvic area. Early this month, Vice President Nicolas Maduro described the president's condition as "delicate."
The latest cancer recurrence was discovered in October, in the aftermath of the socialist leader's overwhelming re-election. At the time, Chavez named Maduro as his successor if he remained unable to resume his duties.
The president was scheduled to be sworn in to a new six-year term January 10, but, upon learning Chavez could not leave Cuba for the ceremonies, the Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled he could delay his inauguration indefinitely.