Photo: Hugo Chavez returns to home state.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez bypassed the capital and traveled directly to his home state of Barinas after spending four days in Cuba for a second round of radiation following an operation to remove a cancerous lesion.
“Arriving in Barinas, at the cradle, with the old lady, with the old man,” Chavez said late Wednesday as he was greeted warmly by his parents, siblings, one of his daughters and members of the government.
The radiation treatments have caused no ill effects, the 57-year-old president said after disembarking from his official aircraft.
“The body has assimilated it well” and all of the medical tests show his recovery is progressing, Chavez said in remarks broadcast live on all television and radio networks.
Chavez had surgery in Cuba in late February to extract a cancerous lesion from his pelvic region.
The leftist president had a larger, malignant tumor removed from the same region last year, but he has never revealed the precise nature of the cancer. He underwent several rounds of chemotherapy after the initial surgery before announcing in October that he was cancer-free.
Chavez noted on Wednesday the approach of the 10th anniversary of the April 11, 2002, coup that briefly removed him from office before his supporters took to the streets and loyal military units intervened.
“We must commemorate it with everything,” he said, because “never before had a coup supported by the Yankees failed.”
The U.S. government was seen as providing at least tacit approval for the attempt to oust Chavez, an outspoken critic of Washington’s policy toward Latin America.
Chavez went on to predict he will win Venezuela’s Oct. 7 presidential election, giving him six more years in power to make his self-styled revolution “irreversible.”
In power since 1999, Chavez now faces a race against the governor of the central state of Miranda, Henrique Capriles, the consensus candidate of Venezuela’s long-divided opposition.