Hugo Chavez Headed Back to Cuba for Medical Treatment

The newly re-elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez will head back for another round of treatment to combat pelvic cancer that has plagued the world leaders for almost two years.

Chávez has asked his country's legislature Tuesday for permission to travel to Cuba for more medical treatment after spending much of the past 18 months fighting cancer.

The Tuesday request says Chávez has needed "various sessions of hyperbaric oxygenation" and physical therapy to continue "consolidating the process of strengthening health." The request doesn't provide more details about the treatment.

Hyperbaric treatments can be used for a broad variety of conditions.

"Commander, the people of Venezuela hope that you continue with this alternative therapy to move forward in your recovery. Bon voyage!, And the people here are with you," said Diosdado Cabello President of Venezuela’s National Assembly, in a statement.

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 against opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.

The socialist leader has held power in Venezuela since 1999, implementing sweeping reforms throughout the country and nationalizing large swaths of private businesses, including in the lucrative oil industry.

With his recent victory, Chávez will now have a freer hand to push for an even bigger state role in the economy, as he pledged during the campaign, and to continue populist programs. He's also likely to further limit dissent and deepen friendships with U.S. rivals such as Iran.

During his campaign Chávez spoke little about his fight with cancer, but he has said his most recent tests showed no sign of illness.

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.

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