Venezuelan VP: Chavez operation was "complex, difficult"

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Looking grim, Venezuela's Vice President Nicolas Maduro offered this somber update on Hugo Chavez's cancer surgery in Cuba.

SOUNDBITE: Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro saying (Spanish):

"Yesterday's operation was a complex, difficult, delicate operation which tells us that the post-operative process will be complex and hard."

Chavez has been fighting cancer for a year and a half, since it was discovered in his pelvic area in June of last year.

Before the surgery, the fifty-eight-year-old leader said he hoped to recover in time to begin his new six-year term in January.

SOUNDBITE: Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro saying (Spanish):

"Our people must be serenely prepared to face these tough, complex and difficult days that we will have to live through. There are situations that are complex and difficult that can only be faced with the people's unity."

Chavez has named Maduro as his possible successor -- a move that signaled to many the seriousness of his condition.