Deputy speaks to ailing Chavez
Venezuelan vice president Nicolas Maduro said he has spoken by phone with President Hugo Chavez and that the leader is up and walking following cancer surgery in Cuba.
Mr Maduro told state television that he spoke with Mr Chavez for about 20 minutes.
He said the president was walking and doing some exercises. He added that Mr Chavez was in a good mood and had given him guidance on budgetary matters for 2013.
It was the first time a top Venezuelan government official had confirmed speaking personally with Mr Chavez since the December 11 surgery.
Venezuelan officials have given little specific information on Mr Chavez's condition or his long-term prognosis.