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Venezuela: Chavez undergoing alternative cancer treatment

The 58-year-old has not appeared in public since December 11.

Hugo chavez mural 2013 01 04Enlarge
A mural of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas. (Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is undergoing "complex" alternative cancer treatments, according to his country's Vice President.

Reuters reported the 58-year-old has not appeared in public since he went to Havana, Cuba for cancer treatment on December 11.

This was his fourth surgery for cancer in 18 months, Reuters confirmed.

Our commander is undergoing alternative treatments ... they are complex and difficult treatments that must, at some point, end the cycle of his illness," Vice President Nicolas Maduro said on state TV.

The government has not released any information on what the new treatments entail.

CNN reported while Chavez supporters say he is running the country from Cuba, critics counter the country, in effect, lacks a leader.

However, in his absence, there are changes, including the nation's currency devaluation which was set for Wednesday, CNN said.