Chavez returns to Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has returned to his homeland after more than two months away for cancer treatment.

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Fidel Castro describes Chavez's 'tough days of suffering'

Fidel Castro wrote to Hugo Chavez in a letter published by Cuba's government on Monday, following the Venezuelan president's return home:

I'm pleased you have been able to return to the piece of soil you love so much and the fraternal people who give you so much support.

You have learnt a lot about life, Hugo, in those tough days of suffering and sacrifice.

– Fidel Castro

Chavez supporters hail President's return to Venezuela

President Hugo Chavez's return to Venezuela sparked celebrations among his supporters today, with fireworks set off by 'Chavistas' in parts of Caracas.

Government ministers were jubilant with one singing "He's back, he's back!" live on state TV.

The return of Hugo Chavez prompted celebrations in some neighbourboods Credit: Reuters

"It's fabulous news, the best thing possible. Venezuela was waiting for him, everyone wants to see him," said Chavez's cousin, Guillermo Frias.

Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said: "Now the president is back, there can be no doubt about the democratic institutions working in Venezuela.

"There were some who dream of unseating Chavez and the revolution, but here we always said Chavez is the president elected and re-elected by will of the Venezuelan people."

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Profile: Hugo Chavez

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has made a surprise return from Cuba after cancer surgery, but there is no word on whether he is fit enough to resume what has been an extraordinary political career:

  • Born to a poor family in 1954, his humble roots have helped him forge a bond with many of Venezuela's poor
  • A former lieutenant colonel, he led a 1992 coup that failed but launched his political career
  • After being pardoned, he won the 1998 presidential election and took office the following year
  • Arrested in 2002 after a coup, but public protests and the army helped sweep him back to power two days later
  • Massive state spending on health and education programs, financed by income from oil exports, has won him backing from the poor
  • Known for his brash style and long-winded televised speeches
  • Opponents accuse him of repressing critics and squandering record oil revenues
  • Announced cancer treatment in 2011; has since had four operations in Cuba
  • Re-elected in October, but his January swearing-in was postponed
  • Flew back to Venezuela today and went straight to hospital for more treatment.

Chavez returns to Venezuela after cancer surgery

Photos of Hugo Chavez with his daughters were released last week Credit: Reuters

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has returned to his homeland after more than two months away for cancer treatment.

Chavez went to Cuba for surgery on 11 December, his fourth operation in 18 months.

Precise details of Chavez's illness are shrouded in mystery, but his condition was presumed serious when Vice-President Nicolas Maduro described the latest surgery as "extremely complex and tough".

Chavez was re-elected as President in October 2012, but his swearing-in was delayed because of his illness.

The first images of Chavez since the operation were released last week, and showed the leader lying in bed with his two daughters at his side.

Hugo Chavez back home and back on Twitter

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has announced his return to Venezuela in his first tweet for more than three months, after undergoing cancer treatment in Cuba.

He said: "We are back home in Venezuela. Thank God! Thank you dear people! Here we will continue the treatment.

"Thank you to Fidel, Raul and all of Cuba! Thank you to Venezuela for so much love! I remain clung to Christ and confident in my doctors and nurses. Ever onward to victory!"

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