Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is said to be in good physical condition after a Monday night surgery in Cuba to remove a lesion from his pelvic area.
The diagnosed pelvic lesion was totally extracted along with the surrounding tissue. There were no complications relating to his local organs ... He is recovering Vice President Elias Jaua announced to a jubilant session of the National Assembly.
President Chavez appreciates, from his heart, the warm support he has received from the Venezuelan people, as well as the countless expressions of solidarity from men and women all over the world, Jaua continued.
Chavez's supporters in the Assembly responded with chants of Chavez will not leave! and Onward, comandante!
Jaua did not say when Chavez will return to Venezuela; the leader has been in Cuba since Friday.
This latest surgery follows two other operations Chavez underwent in Cuba to remove a tumor in the same area last year. Cuba is Venezuela's strongest ally, and Chavez and Fidel Castro are reported to be good friends.
Chavez announced in October he was cancer-free, but it remains unclear if the lesion removed on Monday was malignant or not.
We have to wait for the pathology results to see what they found, which should take three to five days, Sunil Daryanani, an oncologist at a hospital in the Venezualan capital of Caracas said.
Daryanani added that recovery for such an operation usually takes anywhere from a week to ten days, Reuters reports.
Venezuelan officials have never announced the nature of Chavez's cancer, and insist that his other organs have not been affected.
Wikileaks documents released Sunday suggest otherwise.
Emails taken from Stratfor, a Texas-based private intelligence company, show that doctors from around the world were consulted on Chavez's medical condition. A Venezuelan source dating from late 2011 suggests that Cuban doctors gave the leader two years to live, and Russian doctors said he would be dead within a year.
The news of Chavez's continuing health problems comes before a highly contested presidential election on October 7. Any continuing health issues would hinder him on the campaign trail.
Chavez will face opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski, a state governor, who brands himself as a center-left progressive. He easily won the opposition presidential primary on February 12.
Opinion polls indicate that one-third of Venezuelans are in favor of Chavez, another third support Capriles Radonski, and another third are undecided, Reuters reported.