The vice president of Venezuela says cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez is fighting for his life as he undergoes chemotherapy treatment in a Caracas military hospital.
Nicolas Maduro revealed for the first time late Friday that the president has begun chemotherapy following his fourth cancer surgery in Cuba in December.
Maduro said the president's treatments are tough, but Maduro says Chavez is stronger than the treatments. He said the president is in "good spirits."
Opposition politicians have accused the government of lying about President Chavez's medical condition.
Venezuelan officials have ridiculed rumors that the president may be dead.
The latest cancer recurrence was discovered in October, following the socialist leader's overwhelming re-election. At the time, Chavez named Maduro as his successor if the president was not able to resume his duties.
President Chavez, who is 58, was scheduled to be sworn in to a new six-year term January 10, but upon learning he could not leave Cuba for the ceremonies, the Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled the president could delay his inauguration indefinitely - a move the opposition strongly criticized.