Hugo Chavez undergoing cancer surgery
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez listens to a question during an impromptu news conference with the foreign press at Miraflores palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, December 11, 2012 11:49AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 11, 2012 1:32PM EST
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuela's government says President Hugo Chavez is going through "pre-operative" steps for cancer surgery in Cuba.
Information Minister Ernesto Villegas read the announcement on television.
In the statement, the government also urged Venezuelans to pray.
Venezuela released the statement on Tuesday after Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said Chavez was undergoing the operation "at this moment."