Chavez's recovery 'slow but progressive' after surgery
An image of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez sits between two military hats during a mass in support of him in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. Chavez is recovering favorably despite suffering complications during cancer surgery in Cuba. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Published Friday, December 14, 2012 8:39PM EST
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is recovering satisfactorily after cancer surgery in Cuba and has spoken with relatives, his government said Friday.
"His recuperation has been slow but progressive," Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said, reading a government statement.
The 58-year-old president underwent his fourth cancer-related operation in Havana on Tuesday after tests found the illness had come back despite previous operations, chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
The Venezuelan government has said that Chavez suffered complications during a complex six-hour operation.
"The bleeding that occurred during the operation was attended to in an opportune manner and the patient has responded in a favourable manner," the government said.
"Chavez has communicated with his close relatives," it added.
Vice-President Nicolas Maduro has said that Chavez's children are with him in Havana as well is his science and technology minister, Jorge Arreaza.
The government said that through Arreaza, Chavez "has sent a greeting to the entire Venezuelan nation."
Bolivian President Evo Morales was travelling to Havana on Friday night to visit Chavez, said Amanda Davila, Bolivia's communication minister.
Speaking at a news conference in La Paz, Davila said that after seeing Chavez, Morales would travel to Venezuela for an event Saturday marking the creation of the leftist ALBA bloc, to which both countries belong.