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Venezuelan VP says Chavez' health is improving

By the CNN Staff
December 23, 2012 -- Updated 1403 GMT (2203 HKT)
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has not disclosed what type of cancer he has.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has not disclosed what type of cancer he has.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro says Hugo Chavez is getting stronger
  • The president underwent cancer-related surgery in Cuba this month
  • Chavez has not disclosed what type of cancer he has

(CNN) -- Hugo Chavez, who is battling cancer and recovering from a recent surgery, is getting stronger each day, the Venezuelan vice president said Saturday.

"President Chavez is resting and his recovery is progressing with each day that passes," said Vice President Nicolas Maduro, state-run VTV reported.

Maduro said he got the update on Chavez' health from Cilia Flores, a member of the ruling party who recently returned to Venezuela from Cuba, where Chavez underwent cancer-related surgery this month.

The president is receiving the best possible care, VTV reported the vice president said.

Oil-rich Venezuela going broke?
Hugo Chavez's health mystery

Chavez first announced he was battling cancer in June 2011. He has not disclosed what type of cancer he has, and the Venezuelan government has released few details about Chavez's illness, fueling widespread speculation about his health and political future.

On Tuesday, the country's information minster said Chavez was battling a respiratory infection. Minister Ernesto Villegas said then that the infection was controlled and that Chavez was in stable condition.

Last week Villegas and another top government official struck a somber tone when discussing the president's illness.

Vice President Maduro said Chavez had suffered unexpected bleeding during surgery, which he said doctors had acted quickly to control.

He said Chavez would face a "complex and difficult" recovery. Maduro's voice cracked as he asked Venezuelans to remain united and to pray for their president.

Villegas suggested Chavez might not be not be back in Venezuela in time for his inauguration, which is scheduled for next month.

CNN's Dana Ford and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.

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