President Hugo Chavez returned to Venezuela early Thursday morning, after a second round of radiation treatment in Cuba.
Appearing healthy and walking unaided, Chavez held court on the tarmac of the airport in Barinas, telling well-wishers who had gathered to welcome him that his treatment went well.
Chavez has been in Cuba since March 25. He began a phase of radiation treatment the next day. Doctors in the Caribbean island nation have operated on him twice to remove cancerous tumors, Chavez has said.
The 57-year-old president has not specified the type of cancer he is battling, and the government has released few specifics, fueling widespread speculation about his health and political future.
The outspoken, flamboyant socialist leader has led Venezuela since 1999 and has pledged to run for re-election in October.
Venezuela's foreign ministry said Wednesday that Chavez spoke about his health in a lengthy phone conversation the day before with former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, who recently announced that his own cancer had gone into remission.
"President Chavez told his brother Lula that the treatment is going very well, and so is the political and economic situation of Venezuela," Venezuela's foreign ministry said in a statement summarizing the phone conversation.FULL STORY