'Happy' Venezuelans welcome back Chavez

2013-02-18 17:32
Hugo Chavez (File, AP)

Hugo Chavez (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Caracas - President Hugo Chavez returned to Venezuela early on Monday after spending more than two months in Cuba for cancer surgery and treatment, announcing his surprise homecoming via 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, said his son-in-law and Science and Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza.

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".

The 58-year-old Chavez, who has been in power for more than 14 years, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2011. After surgery and treatment he declared himself free of the disease and went on to win another term in elections last October.

Inauguration postponed

But he suffered a relapse, and after the latest surgery on 11 December in Havana he was still too sick to come back to Venezuela for his scheduled inauguration on 10 January.

The inauguration has been postponed indefinitely, and Maduro has essentially been running Venezuela in Chavez's absence.

There was no immediate word whether Chavez will now take his oath of office to end the political uncertainty which his illness has caused.

Opposition parties insist Chavez's term ended on 10 January and that if he cannot start a new one in person, an interim president should be named pending a decision on whether Chavez should be declared incapacitated, in which case a new election would be called quickly.

But throughout his illness, the firebrand leftist leader has refused to relinquish power, and the National Assembly had voted to grant him unlimited leave to undergo medical treatment outside of the country.

In his Twitter message, Chavez also expressed his gratitude to Cuba and its leaders for their assistance in his medical treatment.

Belief in God

"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."

As before, he underscored his belief in God and hopes for complete recovery.

"I am holding on to Jesus Christ and trust my doctors and nurses," the president said. "As always, see you in victory. We will live and we will win."

On Friday, the Venezuelan government released the first post-operative photos of Chavez, giving Venezuelans the first glimpse of their leader since a fourth round of cancer surgery in Cuba.

The pictures show Chavez lying on his back in a Havana hospital, with his two eldest daughters at his side and leafing through Thursday's edition of the official Cuban newspaper Granma.

The four images broke a virtual news blackout for Chavez's countrymen, who have been living in limbo without their media-happy comandante - a populist firebrand who is the most visible face of the Latin American left and who has irked the United States by aligning himself with Iran, Syria and Cuba.

The government has never said 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".

- SAPA
Read more on:    hugo chavez  |  venezuela  |  cuba
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.