SHARECOMMENTMORE

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has traveled to Cuba for a third operation for cancer.

State television showed images of Chavez hugging his vice president, newly designated by the president as his successor, and other aides before the boarding the jet.

State TV reported that Chavez departed for Cuba after 1 a.m. on Monday.

He raised a fist as he climbed the stairs alone. From the doorway of the plane, he waved and shouted "Long live our homeland!"

Chavez has said he will undergo cancer surgery in Havana in the coming days. The president, who had returned from Cuba early Friday, said on television Saturday that tests had found a return of "some malignant cells" in the same area where tumors were previously removed.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)