Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was recovering in Cuba today following an operation targeting an aggressive cancer that has defied multiple treatments.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro spoke on Venezuelan television after the surgery, saying that "it's been a complex operation." He indicated that the surgery lasted more than six hours and said it was completed "correctly and successfully."
It was the fourth cancer-related operation that Mr Chavez has undergone since June 2011.
Vice President Maduro said that Mr Chavez had been moved into intensive care to recover and begin "special treatment" by a team including medical experts from Venezuela, Cuba and elsewhere.
At his bedside in Havana were his children and grandchildren as well as friends including National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez.
The 58-year-old president won re-election in October and is due to be sworn in for a new six-year term on January 10.