CARACAS, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela's Vice President Nicolas Maduro Tuesday said President Hugo Chavez is making progress in recovering from his recent cancer surgery in Havana, Cuba.
"We can say that our commander is climbing the hill, he is advancing," Maduro told a gathering of officials in the presidential palace, during the first meeting of the national government council for the 2013-2019 presidential term.
"Our commander is fighting a battle," said Maduro, adding aides were keeping the president abreast of events at home.
"We amply update him on how our country is changing, on the political forces, on the plans," he said.
Arriving from Cuba, Maduro confirmed that other senior officials accompanied him on the trip, including Adan Chavez, a governor and brother of Chavez, National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, General Attorney Cilia Flores and Rafael Ramirez, Minister of Energy and Petroleum.
Jorge Arreaza, Minister of Science and Technology and Chavez's son-in-law, stayed in Cuba, said Maduro.
In the absence of Chavez, Maduro is scheduled to present the executive branch's 2012 annual report later Tuesday.
Chavez, who was reelected in October, was unable to attend his inauguration on Jan. 10, leaving Maduro in charge of running the nation.
Chavez, 58, underwent his fourth cancer operation in December, then contracted a lung infection that has complicated his recovery.