Chavez starting more medical treatment in Cuba

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SANTIAGO, Chile -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has defeated a respiratory infection and has begun additional medical treatment in Cuba after struggling with complications following cancer surgery more than six weeks ago, a government spokesman said Saturday.

Venezuelan Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said that it remains unclear how soon Chavez could return home.

He won re-election in October, and lawmakers indefinitely put off his inauguration.

earlier this month in a decision that was condemned by opponents but upheld by the Supreme Court.

The vice president said that Chavez "has reviewed and evaluated reports on different areas and has made decisions."

He said Chavez evaluated the country's economic situation and budget and made decisions about gold reserves, funding for public housing projects and "social investments and economic development." Maduro didn't give more details but said the actions approved by the president were intended to "guarantee the country's economic growth, infrastructure, housing."

Maduro said that one of the documents signed by Chavez dealt with the selection of his socialist party's candidates for mayoral elections later this year. The vice president showed the signature in red ink on one of the documents.

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Associated Press writers Jorge Rueda and Ian James in Caracas, Venezuela, and Chris Gillete in Santiago, Chile contributed to this report.

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Luis Andres Henao is on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LuisAndresHenao

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