May 22, 2013
VP says Venezuela's Chávez having 'alternative' cancer treatment
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is undergoing "complex" alternative treatments more than two months after having cancer surgery in Cuba, his vice president said.
The 58-year-old socialist leader has not been seen in public since he went to Havana for the operation on Dec. 11, his fourth surgery for cancer in 18 months.
Vice President Nicolás Maduro did not give details of the alternative treatments the president was receiving. Chávez has never said what type of cancer he is suffering from, and critics accuse the government of excessive secrecy over his condition.
"Today our commander is undergoing alternative treatments ... they are complex and difficult treatments that must, at some point, end the cycle of his illness," Maduro said in comments on state TV.
The government, which rejects allegations it has not been transparent about Chávez's health, says he has completed a difficult post-operative period and has started a "new phase" of his recuperation. It has not given details of this new phase.