Venezuela shows photos of smiling Chavez reading newspaper

CARACAS, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Venezuela's government published the first pictures of cancer-stricken Hugo Chavez since his operation in Cuba more than two months ago, showing him smiling while lying in bed reading a newspaper, flanked by his two daughters.

The 58-year-old socialist leader had not been seen in public since the Dec. 11 surgery, his fourth operation in less than 18 months. The government said the photos were taken in Havana on Thursday. (Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Vicki Allen)