Chavez still faces respiratory problems as cancer treatment continues

President Hugo Chavez surrounded by his daughters at hospital in Havana.

Story highlights

  • Chavez, 58, is being treated for "respiratory insufficiency," a government spokesman says
  • He returned on Monday from Cuba, where he was operated on for cancer
  • The kind of cancer has never been specified publicly

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez remains under treatment for "respiratory insufficiency" that arose after he underwent an operation, a government spokesman said Thursday on national television and radio.

But Chavez's treatment for his underlying disease -- cancer -- "continues without presenting significant adverse effects so far," said information minister Ernesto Villegas.

Villegas said Chavez is in Caracas at the Hospital Militar Dr. Carlos Arvelo, where he is alert, communicating with his family, members of government and his medical team.

Chavez returned to Venezuela on Monday after more than two months in Cuba, where he was treated for an unspecified cancer.

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He was not well enough to be sworn into office last month.

READ: Chavez will not be sworn in on inauguration day