CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuela's vice-president said Wednesday that President Hugo Chavez will face a "complex and hard" post-surgery process after undergoing his fourth cancer-related operation in Cuba.
Vice-President Nicolas Maduro made the announcement a day after Chavez's surgery.
"It was a complex, difficult, delicate operation," Maduro said, adding that indicates "the post-operative process is also going to be a complex and hard process."
The vice-president, whom Chavez named over the weekend as his chosen political heir, was flanked by National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, who had accompanied the president in Havana during the surgery.
Maduro said Cabello and Ramirez had returned to Caracas at 3 a.m. and that they had talked about the situation until daybreak.
Maduro had a solemn expression as he spoke, and his voice was hoarse and cracked at times.
He called for Venezuelans to calmly face what he said would be "hard, complex and difficult days" that lie ahead. He also called for unity in the country as it faces "complex and difficult scenarios."