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Ariana Cubillos/AP

Hugo Chavez returns to Venezuela after Cuban cancer treatment

The Venezuelan president arrives home after four weeks in Cuba, where he underwent emergency surgery.

PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ has returned to Venezuela after almost four weeks in Cuba recovering from cancer surgery.

Chavez underwent emergency surgery in the Caribbean nation last month shortly after arriving on a tour of Latin America, when he was first reported to have had an abscess removed from his pelvis.

Last week, the 56-year-old admitted he had undergone further surgery to remove a cancerous tumour – and the BBC now reports that Venezuelan state TV has aired footage of Chavez being seen off by Cuban leader Raul Castro and arriving back home.

In a later telephone interview he was “fine”, in good spirits, and very hungry.

Further, on Twitter, he wrote:

So here I am, at home nad very happy! Good morning, my beloved Venezuela! Hello dear people! Thank God! It is the beginning of the return!

His return, the BBC noted, comes a day before Venezuela’s national holiday. He will not be well enough to take part in the parade, but will follow proceedings from his palace.

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has spoken of how impressed he was with the speed of Chavez’s recovery.

It was only natural that Chavez’s health would fail given how he had worked without a break since taking office in 1999, the elder Castro wrote in an essay published last night, adding:

Without hesitation I affirm that the results are impressive, and I did not hesitate to affirm that the patient has undertaken a decisive battle that will lead him, and with him Venezuela, to a great victory.

Castro also underlined earlier Venezuelan claims that Chavez had not known about his illness before travelling to Cuba – and had merely undergone treatment there shortly after his diagnoses.

Read: Chavez reveals cancer battle >

Read: Where’s Hugo? He’s in Cuba with his pal Castro >

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