Story highlights

The president says he will begin radiation treatment on Sunday

Chavez has not specified the type of cancer he is battling

The charismatic and controversial leader is up for re-election in October

CNN —  

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is expected to begin radiation treatment Sunday in Cuba, where he underwent cancer surgery late last month.

The president just returned this month from Cuba, where he underwent cancer surgery. Cuban doctors removed a tumor in February, which Chavez said was smaller than another tumor removed in June.

“I’ve decided, based on the recommendations of my medical and political teams, to begin … radiation therapy as a complement to the surgery I had four weeks ago,” the president said during comments broadcast by the Venezuelan state-run news channel VTV.

He said he expects to leave Venezuela on Saturday and begin treatment Sunday.

Chavez has not specified the type of cancer he is battling, and the government has released few specifics, fueling widespread speculation about his health and political future.

Chavez has not specified the type of cancer he is battling, and the government has released few specifics, fueling widespread speculation about his health and political future.

The outspoken, flamboyant socialist leader has led Venezuela since 1999 and has pledged to run for re-election in October.

CNN’s Patrick Oppmann contributed to this report.