Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 8 minutes ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
Chavez returns after cancer surgery
February 19, 2013
 Print    Send to Friend

CARACAS: President Hugo Chavez returned to Venezuela early on Monday after spending more than two months in Cuba for cancer surgery and treatment, announcing his surprise homecoming via Twitter.

“We have arrived again to the Venezuelan motherland,” Chavez wrote. “Thank you, God. Thank you, my beloved people. We will continue my treatment here.” From the airport, he was taken to Carlos Avarela Military Hospital in Caracas where he will continue his medical treatment, said his son-in-law and Science and Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro swiftly went on national television to declare that Venezuelans were “absolutely happy” to have the president back and promised to give an update on the state of his health. He also called on his countrymen to show solidarity with Chavez “without disturbing his calm.” The 58-year-old Chavez, who has been in power for more than 14 year, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2011. After surgery and treatment he declared himself free of the disease and went on to win another term in elections last October.

But he suffered a relapse, and after the latest surgery on Dec.11 in Havana he was still too sick to come back to Venezuela for his scheduled inauguration on Jan.10. The inauguration has been postponed indefinitely, and Maduro has essentially been running Venezuela in Chavez’s absence.

There was no immediate word whether Chavez will now take his oath of office to end the political uncertainty which his illness has caused.

Opposition parties insist Chavez’s term ended on Jan.10 and that if he cannot start a new one in person, an interim president should be named pending a decision on whether Chavez should be declared incapacitated, in which case a new election would be called quickly.

But throughout his illness, the firebrand leftist leader has refused to relinquish power, and the National Assembly had voted to grant him unlimited leave to undergo medical treatment outside of the country.

In his Twitter message, Chavez also expressed his gratitude to Cuba and its leaders for their assistance in his medical treatment. “Thank you Fidel, Raul and everybody in Cuba,” he wrote, referring to Cuban leaders Fidel and Raul Castro. “And thank you, Venezuela, for so much love.” As before, he underscored his belief in God and hopes for complete recovery.

“I am holding on to Jesus Christ and trust my doctors and nurses,” the president said. “As always, see you in victory. We will live and we will win.” On Friday, the Venezuelan government released the first post-operative photos of Chavez, giving Venezuelans the first glimpse of their leader since a fourth round of cancer surgery in Cuba.

The pictures show Chavez lying on his back in a Havana hospital, with his two eldest daughters at his side and leafing through Thursday’s edition of the official Cuban newspaper Granma.

The four images broke a virtual news blackout for Chavez’s countrymen, who have been living in limbo without their media-happy comandante — a populist firebrand who is the most visible face of the Latin American left and who has irked the United States by aligning himself with Iran, Syria and Cuba.

The government has never said where Chavez’s cancer is located or how serious it was or is. And this has not changed with his return.

Agence France-Presse

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
Related Stories
Maduro wins Venezuela polls
CARACAS: Venezuela’s acting President Nicolas Maduro was declared the winner of the election to succeed his late mentor Hugo Chavez by a razor-thin margin late on Sunday,..
Chavez touch and go: Spanish report
CARACAS: Cancer-stricken Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was sent home to die after doctors in Cuba could do nothing more for him, Spain’s ABC newspaper reported. The..
Chavez supporters rejoice after release of leader’s photos
CARACAS: Supporters of President Hugo Chavez displayed new confidence on Saturday after the government released the first post-surgical photos of the ailing Venezuelan le..
Chavez joking and laughing, says FM
CARACAS: Venezuela’s top diplomat said on Monday that he shared jokes and laughed together with President Hugo Chavez during a meeting in Cuba, where the socialist leader..
Venezuela prays for Chavez, but hope seen low
CARACAS: Venezuelans gathered on plazas and in churches to pray for President Hugo Chavez amid what seems an increasingly gloomy outlook for the ailing leader in his figh..
 
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright