Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is recuperating in hospital in Cuba after surgery for cancer.
The procedure, which lasted more than six hours, was declared a success but Vice President Nicolas Maduro warned that Chavez’s recovery would not be easy:
“Our people must be prepared to face these tough, complex and difficult days that we will have to live through.”
The 58-year-old has been fighting cancer for a year and a half since it was discovered in his pelvic area. He had been given the all-clear, but last weekend announced that more malignant cells had been found.
Vigils were held throughout the capital Caracas and the rest of the country. Supporters prayed for strength for their President.
One Chavez supporter said: “It makes me happy that his operation went well because if for some reason he had died the opposition would have been happy and we don’t want that.”