Cheering Throngs Welcome Back Chavez
Ailing president back in Caracas
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2011 1:16 AM CDT
Hugo Chavez kisses a Venezuelan flag after greeting supporters at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas.   (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

(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.

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Jul 5, 2011 8:41 AM CDT
Chavez was democratically elected to office when the poor people of Venezuela voted in surprising numbers. Since then he has treated all the people of his country equally, rather than coddling only the rich. His equal treatment of all has certain reactionary elements upset, much as in America, where a popularly elected president is derisively criticized by American reactionaries, and for much the same reasons. In America, just as in Venezuela, certain political voices have been silenced, for example Governor Spitzer of New York, and Alabama's former Democratic governor, Don Siegelman. Yes, Chavez shutdown an opposition radio station, but that station was calling for the violent overthrow of the democratically elected government, something that will get a radio station shutdown in America as well. Yes, Chavez's administration has arrested a judge under questionable circumstances, however it's not like no such act has ever occurred in the U. S. If his government were anti-democratic, or totalitarian, no news of the arrest would have been allowed out of the country.