Chavez Finally Back in Venezuela

Makes surprise return this morning

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 18, 2013 6:13 AM CST

(Newser) – Hugo Chavez is finally back in Venezuela, more than two months after he left for cancer surgery in Cuba. The president's return early today was a surprise, Reuters reports; it came just days after he released the first images of him that had been seen since he left his country. He's currently in a military hospital, the vice president says. Fireworks went off in Caracas neighborhoods as "Chavistas" celebrated his return.

Chavez also tweeted today for the first time since he left for Cuba. "We have arrived back in the Venezuelan fatherland. Thanks, my God! Thanks, my beloved people! Here we will continue the treatment," he posted, and later, "I remain attached to Christ and trusting in my nurses and doctors. Onwards to victory forever! We will live and we will conquer!" In a third tweet, he thanked Raul and Fidel Castro for his treatment in their country.

Carmen Rondon poses with a photo of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez with his daughters, in Bolivar square where a vendor is selling the pictures in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.
Carmen Rondon poses with a photo of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez with his daughters, in Bolivar square where a vendor is selling the pictures in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
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