Chavez Back in Venezuela After Chemo

Leader ready to 'continue the battle'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2011 8:54 AM CDT
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona bump fists as Fidel Castro looks on in Havana, Cuba, Friday, July 22, 2011.   (AP Photo/Estudios Revolucion)
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(Newser) – Hugo Chavez is back on Venezuelan soil after undergoing a week of chemotherapy in Cuba, reports the AP, trumpeting on national television that "This body of mine, of a cadet and a soldier, held up." The 56-year-old Venezuelan president landed last night to a red-carpet welcome, telling watchers that though the chemotherapy is "a hard treatment," he's ready to "continue the battle."

Chavez, who has already said he'll seek re-election next year, warned that he wasn't out of the woods, by any stretch. "It's important that the Venezuelan people don't believe that everything is done," he said. "We're in a complete process of fighting very hard, and it takes its time. We're winning it and we'll win it, but it takes its time and its rhythms." He added that medical imaging taken in Cuba on July 16 showed "no presence of malignant cells in any part of my body." Chavez had a baseball-sized tumor removed in June.

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