Chavez is back in Venezuela
Feb 18, 2013 / 12:37 pm
President Hugo Chavez returned to Venezuela early Monday after more than two months of treatment in Cuba following cancer surgery, his government said, triggering street celebrations by supporters who welcomed him home while he remained out of sight at Caracas' military hospital.
Chavez's return was announced in a series of three messages on his Twitter account, the first of them reading: "We've arrived once again in our Venezuelan homeland. Thank you, my God!! Thank you, beloved nation!! We will continue our treatment here."
They were the first messages to appear on Chavez's Twitter account since Nov. 1.
"I'm clinging to Christ and trusting in my doctors and nurses," another tweet on Chavez's account said. "Onward toward victory always!! We will live and we will triumph!!"
Vice-President Nicolas Maduro said on television that Chavez arrived at 2:30 a.m. and was taken to the Dr. Carlos Arvelo Military Hospital in Caracas, where he will continue his treatment.
Chavez's announced return to Caracas came less than three days after the government released the first photos of the president in more than two months, showing him looking bloated and smiling alongside his daughters. The government didn't release any additional images of Chavez upon his arrival in Caracas, and unanswered questions remain about where he stands in a difficult and prolonged struggle with an undisclosed type of pelvic cancer.
Chavez was re-elected to a new six-year term in October, and his inauguration, originally scheduled for Jan. 10, was indefinitely postponed by lawmakers in a decision that the Supreme Court upheld despite complaints by the opposition. Some speculated that with Chavez back, he could finally be sworn in.
Government officials didn't address that possibility.
Information Minister Ernesto Villegas broke into song on television early Friday, exclaiming: "He's back, he's back!"
"Bravo," Villegas said, before state television employees joined him in the studio clapping and celebrating.
Read more World News
- Wave of attacks in Iraq, kill at least 70
- John Lennon guitar sells for $408,000
- Arrests made in Las Vegas iPad killing
- Mice and lizards return from space
- Plane crashes at airshow in Turkey
- One winning ticket for $590M Powerball
- French gay marriage law signed
- Pope decries banks over people
- Car drives into crowd at Virginia parade
- Powerball jackpot $600M and rising
- Plane catches fire at Moscow airport
- First Saudi woman scales Mount Everest
(Click for RSS instructions.)