Venezuela gov't: Chavez in 'pre-operative' steps

In this picture provided Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012 by Cuba's state newspaper Granma, Cuba's President Raul Castro, right,  receives Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez at the Jose Marti International airport in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012.  Chavez arrived in Cuba on Monday for a fourth cancer-related operation after designating the vice president as his political heir. (AP Photo/Granma)
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In this picture provided Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012 by Cuba's state newspaper Granma, Cuba's President Raul Castro, right, receives Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez at the Jose Marti International airport in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. Chavez arrived in Cuba on Monday for a fourth cancer-related operation after designating the vice president as his political heir. (AP Photo/Granma)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's government says President Hugo Chavez is going through "pre-operative" steps for cancer surgery in Cuba.

Information Minister Ernesto Villegas read the announcement on television.

In the statement, the government also urged Venezuelans to pray.

Venezuela released the statement on Tuesday after Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said Chavez was undergoing the operation "at this moment."