Chavez, 58 and re-elected to a third term in October, spoke with his immediate family and through the minister sent greetings to all the Venezuelan people.
Villegas was giving the first medical report of the day on the fourth round of cancer surgery that Chavez has undergone in a year and a half.
Chavez is recovering slowly but gradually, according to the information minister.
The Venezuelan leader is scheduled to be inaugurated January 10. The country is waiting nervously to see whether the until now tireless and endlessly outspoken populist will remain their president or become incapacitated, or worse.
Chavez has named foreign minister and vice president Nicolas Maduro as his temporary replacement, political heir and handpicked successor to run in a future election is Chavez cannot continue as president.