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Chavez Treatments ‘Complex’ as Venezuelan Leader Nears Recovery

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is receiving “complex and difficult” medical treatments as the South American leader nears recovery from an undisclosed cancer, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said.

“They are complex treatments that should at some point close the cycle of treatment for his disease,” Maduro, who said he had just arrived from Cuba, said today on state television. “He is assimilating all this with, as he would say, a battling spirit.”

The government hasn’t given an official health update on Chavez since Jan. 26 when Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said the former paratrooper had overcome a lung infection he contracted after the Dec. 11 surgery in Cuba. Chavez was still having some breathing problems, Villegas said.

Maduro and other top officials carried religious statues to Chavez last week, according to photos posted on Villegas’ Twitter account. Chavez studied satellite images of Venezuela and gave instructions about land use, Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza said in messages posted on his Twitter account Feb. 11.

Chavez hasn’t been seen or heard from publicly since arriving in Havana Dec. 10 for his fourth cancer-related surgery in 18 months. Before leaving Venezuela he anointed Maduro his successor should he die or step down.

If either occur before Chavez completes a third six-year term, the constitution states elections must be held within 30 days.

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