(CNN) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba on Tuesday for a recurring bout of cancer, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said.
“It’s a very delicate operation,” Correa said during a meeting in Ecuador with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
Chavez, who had surgery in 2011 to remove a cancerous tumor, has undergone further surgery and radiation in Cuba since. He declared himself cancer-free in July.
Though health rumors dogged Chavez on the campaign trail this year, they didn’t stop him from winning re-election in October.
The government has released few specifics about Chavez’s illness, fueling widespread speculation about his health and political future as well as sparking criticism from political opponents.