Caracas, Jan 21 (IANS/EFE) Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro has said that President Hugo Chavez, who is recovering from cancer surgery in Cuba, is coming out of the postoperative period and "is going to enter a new phase of treatment that is in the process of evaluation" after going through a "difficult" period.
Maduro Sunday said that Chavez is conscious and "continues stabilizing in every way, the functioning of his organs, in all his fundamental qualities".
"Sooner than later we're going to have the president here with us," said Maduro during the interview he gave to journalist and former Venezuelan vice president Jose Vicente Rangel on the private Televen network.
He said that the first postoperative phase was "complicated" and "difficult", and that the public was informed about it at the proper time.
Maduro said that Chavez is "focused on his treatment, (and) following (his doctors' advice) in a disciplined manner".
He said the last time he had seen Chavez was Jan 14 when he went to Havana along with Petroleum and Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez, Science and Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza, Barinas state Gov. Adan Chavez, National Assembly chief Diosdado Cabello and Attorney General Cilia Flores.
Chavez has been hospitalized in Cuba since he underwent another operation Dec 11 to deal with his recurring cancer, which was diagnosed in mid-2011.