Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro says President Hugo Chavez has ended a long and delicate post-operative recovery period and is entering a new phase of cancer treatment.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VENEZUELAN VICE PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO SAYING:
"You all know that we have been through complicated moments. Fortunately, the post-operative cycle is closing and the president entered a new phase of treatment for his illness and is recovering little by little."
Chavez underwent cancer surgery in Cuba on December 11. He has since suffered a series of complications.
Chavez has been neither seen nor heard from in public since mid-December when he arrived in Cuba for his fourth operation in 18 months.
His unusual absence, including missing his own inauguration on January 10, has generated doubts that he could return to power.