Venezuelan Information Minister Ernesto Villegas today said President Hugo Chavez, who recently underwent a difficult medical operation in Cuba, is starting to get "systemic medical treatment," reported the Associated Press.
Villegas did not elaborate further. The exact nature and seriousness of Chavez's cancer is not clear, but the longtime Venezuelan leader did temporarily delegate authority to Vice President Nicolas Maduro before undergoing his most recent operation in Havana.
A "malignant lesion" was reportedly removed from the president's pelvis in the December 11 operation.
Maduro today passed along a message from Chavez in which the 58-year-old told the nation he was "very optimistic" about his health and is "hanging on to Christ and to life," said AP.
Maduro made the remarks after visiting the president, adding Chavez was recovering from a nasty repertory illness, said Reuters.
Chavez won re-election in October but his inauguration has been indefinitely put on hold, said AP.