EDITOR PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced in a televised speech that his cancer has returned.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) HUGO CHAVEZ, VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT, SAYING:
"Unfortunately I must tell the country, that in the exhaustive medical exam, the presence of new malignant cells appear in the same affected area, again. That has forced us to review the diagnosis, the development of the treatment, to consult experts and it's been decided that it's necessary, it's absolutely necessary, it's absolutely essential for me to submit myself to a new surgery and that should occur in the next few days."
Chavez also named a successor for the first time - saying if anything happened to him and a new vote had to be held, his supporters should back Vice President Nicolas Maduro.
The announcement comes just two months after Chavez was re-elected.
He has already had three cancer operations done in Cuba since the middle of last year.
Chavez says his cancer is back (1:19)
Dec. 9 - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez tells the nation his cancer is back and he will need new surgery. Sophia Soo reports. ( Transcript )