President Hugo Chavez returned to Venezuela on Monday morning after spending more than two months in Cuba for cancer surgery and treatment, announcing his surprise homecoming on Twitter.
“We have arrived again to the Venezuelan motherland,” Chavez wrote. “Thank you, God. Thank you, my beloved people. We will continue my treatment here.”
From the airport, he was taken to Carlos Avarela Military Hospital in Caracas where he will continue his medical treatment, AFP reported his son-in-law and the Science and Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza as saying.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro swiftly went on national television to declare that Venezuelans were “absolutely happy” to have the president back and promised an update on the state of his health later on Monday.
He also called on his countrymen to show solidarity with Chavez “without disturbing his calm”, AFP reported.
In his Twitter message, Chavez expressed his gratitude to Cuba and its leaders for their assistance in his medical treatment.
“Thank you Fidel, Raul and everybody in Cuba,” he wrote, referring to Cuban leaders Fidel and Raul Castro. “And thank you, Venezuela, for so much love”, AFP reported.
In a letter published by the official Cuban news agency, former Cuban president Fidel Castro said he was happy that for the Venezuelan people “a long and anxious wait” was over, thanks to what he called Chavez’s physical strength and the dedication of Cuban doctors, AFP reported.
Chavez maintained his belief in God and hopes for a complete recovery.
“I am holding on to Jesus Christ and trust my doctors and nurses,” the president was reported as saying. “As always, see you in victory. We will live and we will win.”
The government has never said exactly where Chavez’s cancer is located or how serious it was or is. And this has not changed with his return.
Just last Wednesday, Maduro said the president was undergoing “extremely tough and complex” treatment in the Cuban capital, declining to provide further details, but insisting that Chavez was facing his medical travails with a “fighting spirit”, AFP reported.
Chavez underwent surgery for the first time on 10 June 2011 in Cuba to remove a pelvic abscess, but disclosed it was a malignant tumor later that month. Despite remaining in politics and winning a six-year term as president on 7 October 2012, Chavez has faced further cancer operations and health setbacks.
Main image by Que comunismo.