The Venezuelan government said that President Hugo Chavez is in "stable" condition following his latest cancer surgery this week.

Communication Minister Ernesto Villegas announced Wednesday night over all the nation's TV channels and radio stations that "the latest medical report says the patient is in stable condition and in a process of recovery."

The minister recalled that Chavez underwent "complex and delicate surgery" on Tuesday and "is going through an equally complex postoperative process."

Chavez underwent surgery this Tuesday in Havana for the fourth time since he was first diagnosed in June of last year with a cancer that is known to be in the pelvic region, though its exact type and location have never been announced.

This was the second official communique of the day. In the first, Vice President Nicolas Maduro, whom Chavez named as his political successor before leaving for Cuba in the wee hours Monday, recalled that the president is facing a "complex" and "difficult" postoperative process.

"The operation (on Tuesday) was a really complex, difficult, delicate operation, which tells us that the postoperative process will also be complex and difficult," Maduro said very seriously.

Maduro, who is also foreign minister, recalled that Chavez warned days ago of the need for the Venezuelan people to be "calmly prepared" to face "the difficult days" ahead. EFE