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Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, announced in a televised press conference Saturday that his cancer has returned.
"It's absolutely necessary, absolutely vital that I undergo a new operation," said Chavez.
CNN added that Chavez has stated that if his health were to worsen, that vice president Nicolas Maduro should replace him. This is the first time he has spoken publicly about a successor.
“An operation like this, an illness like this, always carries risk," he said. "If something were to happen that would incapacitate me, Nicholas Maduro should not only finish my term as the constitution requires ... You should also elect Nicholas Maduro to be president."
The parliament is required under the constitution to approve any trip the president makes out of the country for more than five days. A special session was convened Sunday morning to consider Chavez’s health and pending trip to Cuba.
The Associated Press reports the parliament agreed to the request and that Maduro would take on the presidential duties while Chavez is out of the country.