Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has asked his country's legislature for permission to travel to Cuba for more medical treatment after spending much of the past 18 months fighting cancer.
The request (overnight, NZ time) said doctors have recommended Chavez "begin special treatment consisting of various sessions of hyperbaric oxygenation" and physical therapy to continue "consolidating the process of strengthening health." The request did not provide more details about the treatment.
The request said Chavez will travel to Cuba as early as today, but did not state how long he will stay. Venezuelan law requires presidents to receive legislative approval before leaving the country for extended periods.
Hyperbaric treatments involve breathing pure oxygen in pressurised chambers and can be used for a broad variety of conditions.
The 58-year-old president first underwent cancer treatment in Cuba in June 2011 and suffered a relapse in February. He has since said he's recovered from the pelvic cancer and won re-election in October. He's scheduled to start his fourth term in office on January 10.