CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez suffered bleeding during his cancer surgery in Cuba but was recovering from the complications, Venezuela’s government said Thursday.
Chavez suffered “bleeding that required the use of corrective measures” during Tuesday’s surgery, Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said, reading a government statement. It said those measures allowed for the “opportune control” of the bleeding.
Villegas also said that Chavez was going through “a progressive and favorable recovery of the normal values of his vital signs.”
“This recovery process, nevertheless, will require a prudent period of time as a consequence of the complexity of the surgery performed,” he said.
Villegas expressed hope a day earlier about the president returning home for his Jan. 10 swearing-in for a new six-year term, but said in a written message on a government website that if Chavez isn’t well enough by then “our people should be prepared to understand it.”
Chavez underwent his fourth cancer-related operation in Havana after announcing that tests had found the illness had come back despite previous operations, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Chavez has kept secret some details about the pelvic cancer, including the type and location of the tumors that have been removed.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro had looked grim on Wednesday when he acknowledged that Chavez faced a “complex and hard” process after his latest surgery.
Amid the bad news, officials have sought to show a united front amid the growing worries about Chavez’s health and Venezuela’s future. Key leaders of Chavez’s party and military officers appeared together on television as Maduro gave updates on Chavez’s condition.