Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (C) gestures while speaking to supporters after receiving news of his reelection in Caracas on October 7, 2012. According to the National Electoral Council, Chavez was reelected with 54.42% of the votes, beating opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, who obtained 44.97%. AFP PHOTO/JUAN BARRETO/ Getty Images
CARACAS -- Joyful supporters of Venezuelan
President Hugo Chávez crowded outside a military hospital in the capital
Monday after the cancer-stricken leader's surprise return from Cuba
where he had undergone a fourth operation more than two months ago.
arrived at Caracas International Airport at 2:30 a.m. and was
immediately whisked to the heavily guard Carlos Arvelo hospital.
"We have arrived again to Venezuela," Chávez tweeted upon arrival. "Thank God. Thanks to my beloved country."
the hospital in central Caracas, hundreds of red-shirted Chávez
supporters shouted for joy at the news. The state television station
called on the president´s partisans to gather and express their support
at Plaza Bolivar.
Information Minister Ernesto Villegas embraced
the TV station´s personnel as he announced the arrival on the early
morning news program. The station ran repeated headlines all morning:
"He´s returned. He´s returned. He´s returned."
Chávez, who spent two months and seven days in Cuba, said he would continue his treatment at the hospital.
He also thanked the Cuban people and Cuban President Raul Castro, and his brother, former President Fidel Castro in his tweets.
VENEZUELA: Photos prove Hugo Chávez is alive
Friday, Venezuelan officials gave the first proof that Chávez was still
alive after two months of silence from the president. They released
photographs showing the 58-year-old with his two daughters at his
hospital bed in Havana.
The images, which were broadcast on state television, show him reading the Communist party newspaper Granma. The paper's date can be seen: Feb. 14, 2013.
"The battle continues and El Comandante is in the country,¨ Vice President Nicolas Maduro said.
Maduro said he would release details of Chávez´s health later Monday.