Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned home to Venezuela early on Monday after more than two months of medical treatment in Cuba following cancer surgery.
Chavez’s return was announced in a series of message on his Twitter account, saying “we will continue our treatment here.”
“We’ve arrived once again in our Venezuelan homeland. Thank you, my God!!”, the first of the three messages said. They were the first messages to appear on Chavez’s Twitter account since Nov. 1.
“I’m clinging to Christ and trusting in my doctors and nurses,” Chavez said in another tweet. “Onward toward victory always!! We will live and we will triumph!!”
Vice President Nicolas Maduro said on television that Chavez had arrived at 2.30 a.m. and was taken to the Carlos Arvelo Military Hospital in Caracas, where he will continue his treatment.
Chavez also thanked Fidel and Raul Castro, who have overseen his treatment in Cuba, and thanked his country’s people “for so much love.”
Chavez’s return to Caracas came less than three days after the government released photos of the president in more than two months, showing images of him smiling alongside his daughters.
“We’re very happy,” Maduro said. He said the president had arrived together with his eldest daughter, Rosa.
The vice president didn’t give additional details about Chavez’s condition, saying only that he has been in a “continuous battle.”
The 58-year-old president hasn’t spoken publicly since he left for Cuba on December 10. He underwent his fourth cancer-related surgery on Dec. 11, and the government says that he is now breathing through a tracheal tube that makes talking difficult. Throughout the treatments, Chavez has not revealed the type of cancer or the exact location of the tumours.
Chavez is also undergoing other treatments that have not been specified.
Chavez was re-elected for a new six-year term in October last year, and his inauguration had been scheduled for January 10, but was indefinitely postponed by lawmakers due to his condition after the surgery, which the government has described as delicate.