Chavez back in Venezuela after treatment in Cuba

AP News
Posted: Apr 05, 2012 1:37 AM
Chavez back in Venezuela after treatment in Cuba

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned home Wednesday night after his latest round of radiation therapy treatment in Cuba.

Chavez hugged his mother and one of his daughters after stepping off the presidential jet shortly before midnight in his home state of Barinas, where his parents live.

Chavez said he has been recovering well after a February surgery in Havana that removed a second tumor from his pelvic region.

"So far, fortunately there hasn't been any adverse reaction to the treatment," Chavez said. "All the exams that have been carried out have shown positive results of physical recovery."

The 57-year-old president has vowed to overcome cancer and is running for re-election in October.

Chavez underwent his second round of daily radiation treatments this week. He began the treatments in late March and has said he plans to have a total of five rounds to help prevent a recurrence of his illness.

Chavez said he met his friend and mentor Fidel Castro on Wednesday afternoon and later saw his brother President Raul Castro at the airport in Havana.

The Venezuelan leader has often expressed gratitude to the Castros for the care he has received in Cuba since last June, when he said an initial surgery removed a tumor the size of a baseball.

Chavez has not identified the type of cancer nor the precise location where the tumors have been removed.

His illness has brought out more religious expressions by Chavez recently.

"Today I'm more Christian than ever, I've entrusted myself to the hands of Christ," he said. "I'm clinging to life and I ask God, Christ my lord, to continue giving us life."