FEBRUARY 29 2012 06:29h

Chavez has lesion removed in Cuba


CARACAS, Venezuela, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was recovering Tuesday after surgery in Cuba to remove a lesion his doctors had feared was malignant, his vice president said.

Vice President Elias Jaua said Chavez's doctors removed the "entire lesion and surrounding tissue" from the 57-year-old president's pelvic region, The Miami Herald reported. A statement issued by the Venezuelan government said the operation had produced "a satisfactory result," the Los Angeles Times reported.

The reports said Venezuelan officials gave no indication of whether Chavez's previously diagnosed cancer had spread, what his ongoing treatment would be or what his long-term prognosis is.

Chavez traveled to Cuba Friday after doctors found a lesion, less than an inch long, near where a cancerous tumor was removed in June. The type of cancer was not revealed.

Chavez did not transfer his powers to Jaua ahead of his trip Cuba but his illness has raised concerns in some quarters about his ability to govern going forward. Jaua tried to allay any worries about the government's stability and Chavez's intentions to carry on.

"This has proved that, in tough times, the Bolivarian Revolution has represented and represents the guarantee of stability and strength of Venezuela's democracy," the Herald quoted the vice president as saying. "Chavez will return, live and win."

Chavez is expected to rest for several days. Results of tests from the surgery are to be released at an unspecified future date, the Times said.