Cuba's Fidel Castro says Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is getting "much better" after undergoing a fourth cancer operation in December.

Castro says he gets daily updates on Chavez's condition. He adds that it has been a tough struggle for the Venezuelan leader, but says Chavez is improving.

Chavez has not been seen or heard from publicly since his Dec. 11 surgery in Cuba. Officials have not disclosed details of his cancer other than to say it was in the pelvic region.

Castro spoke with Cuban state media Sunday when he appeared at a Havana polling station to cast his vote in parliamentary elections. His comments were published Monday in Communist Party newspaper Granma.