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President Chavez returns to Venezuela from Cuba

Monday - 2/18/2013, 5:42am  ET

In this photo released Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 by Miraflores Presidential Press Office, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, center, poses for a photo with his daughters, Maria Gabriela, left, and Rosa Virginia at an unknown location in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Chavez remains in Havana undergoing unspecified treatments following his fourth cancer-related operation on Dec. 11. He has hasn't been seen or spoken publicly in more than two months. (AP Photo/Miraflores Presidential Press Office)

IAN JAMES
Associated Press

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned home to Venezuela early Monday after more than two months of medical treatment in Cuba following cancer surgery.

Chavez announced his return in a series of message on his Twitter account, saying "we will continue our treatment here."

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 at arrived at 2:30 a.m. and was at a military hospital in Caracas.

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 the first photos of the president in more than two months, showing images of him smiling alongside his daughters.

The 58-year-old president hasn't spoken publicly since he left for Cuba on Dec. 10. He underwent his fourth cancer-related surgery on Dec. 11, and the government says he is now breathing through a tracheal tube that makes talking difficult.

Chavez is also undergoing other treatments that have not been specified.

He has been receiving cancer treatment in Cuba on-and-off since June 2011. He has said he has had tumors removed from his pelvic region and has undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Throughout the treatments, Chavez has not revealed the type of cancer or the exact location of the tumors.

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Ian James on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ianjamesap


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