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Venezuela's Chavez improving after surgery

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is improving after surgery, according to Vice President Nicolas Maduro. Chavez - seen here departing Venezuela for surgery in Cuba two weeks ago - has not been heard from following a fourth operation for an unspecified cancer in the pelvic region. The government had said he suffered post-operatory complications including unexpected bleeding and a lung infection, but offered few details about his actual condition. But Maduro said he'd had a 20-minute phone conversation with Chavez and the president was walking and exercising as part of his treatment. He also sent a special Christmas greeting to the children of Venezuela and "a Merry Christmas to our nation and all the peoples of the Armericas, the Caribbean and brother nations," Maduro said. In a speech to the nation before he left for surgery, Chavez named Maduro his successor, should he become incapacitated.

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