Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has returned to Caracas after more than two months of treatment in Cuba following cancer surgery, and his supporters held street celebrations to welcome him home.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro said on the state television network VTV that the 58-year-old socialist leader arrived at 2:30 a.m. local time (7000 GMT) on Monday, and was taken to the Dr. Carlos Arvelo Military Hospital in the capital to continue his treatment, The Associated Press reported.
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 November 1, 2012.
“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!!”
Hundreds of Chavez supporters welcomed him home in downtown Caracas, chanting his name and holding photos of the leftist president in Bolivar Plaza.
Fireworks were set off in some parts of the capital.
A man holding a megaphone stated, “Our commander has returned!”
Dozens of Venezuelans wearing red T-shirts gathered outside Caracas’ military hospital and chanted “He’s back!”
“I want to see my president. I’ve missed him a lot because Chavez is the spirit of the poor,” seamstress Alicia Morroy said.
Female hospital employee Dubraska Mora said, “Our president arrived walking, strong.”
Chavez was re-elected to a new six-year term on October 7, 2012. However, he shocked the Venezuelan nation on December 8 when he announced that his cancer had returned and that he would have to go to Cuba for emergency surgery.
He travelled to Cuba on December 10 and had cancer surgery the next day.
Original article can be found on the PressTV website, here.