Cheering Throngs Welcome Back Chavez

Ailing president back in Caracas

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 5, 2011 1:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – Hugo Chavez has made a triumphant return to Venezuela after nearly a month in Cuba being treated for cancer. The leader, who is recovering after having a cancerous tumor removed, addressed thousands of cheering supporters from the balcony of the presidential palace, reports the BBC. "The return has begun," he said, calling the people's support "the best medicine for illness."

The dramatic return is "typical Chavez," a Venezuela expert tells the Guardian. "Governance in Venezuela might not necessarily improve with an ailing president back in residence, but at least the internal confusion and posturing within his ruling party will ease." Venezuela marks 200 years of independence today but Chavez says he won't be able to take part in the celebrations.

Hugo Chavez kisses a Venezuelan flag after greeting supporters at  Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas.
Hugo Chavez kisses a Venezuelan flag after greeting supporters at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas.   (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez greets supporters from a balcony of Miraflores presidential palace next to his daughter Rosa Virginia.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez greets supporters from a balcony of Miraflores presidential palace next to his daughter Rosa Virginia.   (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
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