Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was back in his country on Sunday after undergoing chemotherapy treatment in Cuba, declaring himself free of “malignant cells” and ready to continue his work. “I returned in better condition than I was in when I left,” Mr. Chavez declared as he stepped off the plane.

The 56-year-old leader underwent an operation in Cuba a month ago for a cancerous tumour in his pelvic area.

Mr. Chavez, who was welcomed at the airport by members of his Cabinet and top military officials late Saturday, said he was confident of a quick recovery.

“I underwent examinations and I must tell you that doctors did not find any malignant cells in any part of my body,” the President told local television. He cautioned, however, that there existed the risk of a relapse and predicted new medical procedures that he did not identify. “We will conquer this disease with the help of God and medical science in order to continue paving the way for a new motherland,” he promised.

On Friday, Mr. Chavez said he had successfully finished a first round of chemotherapy and was preparing for the second round, but did not disclose his treatment schedule.

The Brazilian official news agency reported earlier this month that Chavez will undergo new cancer treatment in Brazil after his treatment in Cuba.

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