Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has announced that he will return to Cuba to begin a new phase of cancer treatment that will include chemotherapy.

Mr. Chavez said he would go to Havana on Saturday “to begin what we’ve called the second phase.”

He said he was sending a letter to the president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Fernando Soto Rojas, to seek immediate “legislative authorisation” for his trip as required by the constitution. It was not clear how long Mr. Chavez planned to remain in Cuba.

The 56-year-old’s cancer diagnosis has thrown uncertainty into Venezuela’s political landscape during the past two weeks.

Mr. Chavez, who has held dominant power during more than 12 years in office, has assured the country that he is confident he will recover while also saying that a long road to recovery remains.

Mr. Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba on June 20 to remove a cancerous tumour from his pelvic region. He has said the tumour was the size of a baseball.

Mr. Chavez had acknowledged on Wednesday for the first time that he expected to eventually undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

He announced his plans to travel to Cuba after meeting with Peruvian President-elect Ollanta Humala at the presidential palace. Mr. Humala wished Mr. Chavez the best in “this personal battle you are leading.”

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