Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez admitted that the process of recovering from his fourth cancer operation will be "slow" and said he continues to do "battle" holding fast to Christ, Vice President Nicolas Maduro, who returned to Caracas after visiting the head of state in Cuba, said.

Chavez "specifically told us: 'I'm in the process of a slow recovery,'" Maduro said Friday during a Cabinet meeting broadcast on state television, following the announcement of a 32 percent currency devaluation on the express orders of the president.

"'But I'm doing battle" and, he said once more, 'I'm doing battle holding fast to Christ," the vice president said.

The 57-year-old president, in power since 1999, has remained silent since last Dec. 11 when he underwent his fourth operation in Havana for a cancer whose type and extent have never been revealed.

"He also said he has great confidence in the medical team, in their treatment and the disciplined way they're applying it," the vice president said.

On Monday and without previous notice, Maduro arrived in Havana accompanied by Foreign Minister Elias Jaua and Attorney General Cilia Flores to meet with the president

According to Maduro, Chavez responded to the Venezuelan people's "daily expressions of love" by avowing that "all this gives me so much strength, their love and affection inspires even more my will to fight and to live" and gave thanks to the people.

According to the Venezuelan government, the president has finished the postoperative stage and is cured of a pulmonary infection that was causing respiratory insufficiency.

Chavez, reelected for a third time last October for the 2013-2019 period, stil has not been sworn-in for his next term as president due to his operation. EFE