Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced Saturday that doctors in Cuba found a third recurrence of cancerous cells in his pelvic area and would be undergoing surgery in the coming days, according to a Reuters report posted on the New York Times.
Chavez said in a televised address that if anything happened to him, Vice President Nicolas Maduro should be his successor, reported CNN.
Both sources said this is the first time Chavez has spoken publicly about a successor, a shocking revelation from a man who has played a dominant role in Venezuelan politics.
According to Reuters, an election would have to be held within 30 days if recently reelected Chavez were to leave office within the first four years of his next term under Venezuela's constitution.
The president has had three previous cancer operations in Cuba since the middle of last year, Reuters said.
Those who claim to have insider information say the president is much worse condition than he lets on in public, CNN reported.