Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will travel to Cuba for medical treatment, after failing to appear in public for the last two weeks.
Chavez sent a letter to Venezuela´s National Assembly on Tuesday, in which he requested permission to leave the country for an unspecified period of time.
In the letter Chavez wrote that he required treatment that would complement radiation therapy received for cancer earlier this year. The document was read out loud during an event in which the National Assembly celebrated the anniversary of a coup attempt staged by Chavez allies in 1992.
"Six months after I completed the last radiation therapy treatment, it has been recommended that I begin a special treatment consisting of various sessions of hyperbaric oxygenation," Chavez wrote. "Together with physical therapy, (this) will consolidate the process of strengthening my health."
Chavez was diagnosed with cancer in June 2011. Unlike other Latin American Presidents who have suffered from this illness, he never disclosed what type of cancer it was. In 2011, and 2012 the Venezuelan President made several medical visits to Cuba where he was treated by doctors from Cuba, Russia and Spain. In mid-2012, he declared that he had been cured.
Running a limited campaign schedule, Chavez managed to get re-elected in October, defeating 40-year-old opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.
But after staging a series of post-election appearances in which he appointed new ministers, and analyzed his victory, Chavez has stayed largely out of the public eye. The loquacious Venezuelan president hasn't even addressed his 3.7 million Twitter followers since November 1.
Hyperbaric oxygenation, the treatment that Chavez said that he will undergo, involves breathing pure oxygen, in a special chamber.