Chavez Returns to Venezuela After Cancer Surgery

Chavez Returns to Venezuela After Cancer Surgery
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned to Venezuela early today, officials said, after a controversial extended stay in Cuba where he underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumour.

"We got here as the sun was rising. So very happy to be back home," Chavez said on Venezuelan state television as he arrived in time for July 5 bicenntenial celebrations here.

Chavez had been in Cuba since June 8, and was rushed to hospital on June 10 for what was initially described as a "pelvic abscess". He revealed on Thursday that he had a cancerous growth, which was fully removed in a second operation.

Caracas has not given details on what follow-up cancer treatment Chavez might get, or the type of cancer from which the 56-year-old is suffering.

Chavez, who survived a coup attempt in 2002, announced in a video on Thursday from Havana that a cancerous tumor had been removed from his body but that he was expecting a full recovery.

The news cut short a host of rumors about Chavez's health, fueled by his nearly month-long stay in the Cuban capital.

The Cuban government released photos of Chavez yesterday taking a short walk with his daughters Maria Gabriela and Rosa Virginia, and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro.
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