BBC MUNDO (UK), EL NACIONAL, EL UNIVERSAL (Venezuela)
CARACAS- On Monday, the Venezuelan Minister for Communication and Information, Ernesto Villegas, tweeted that Hugo Chávez has returned to Cuba for a new operation for his cancer according to Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional.
BBC Mundo reports that despite a year and a half of treatment that included three surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, this is the first time that Hugo Chávez has suggested that he may not return, naming Vice-President Nicolás Maduro as his successor. Chávez has handled his cancer treatment with absolute secrecy until now and said that this new surgery is “absolutely essential”.
Chávez sought permission yesterday from the National Assembly to travel to Havana for an indefinite amount of time after finding more malignant cells in the same place as his cancer from last year, according to El Universal.
After being elected for a fourth term in October with 55% of the vote, Chávez is due to be inaugurated for another six years on January 10.