Chavez gets hero's welcome after cancer surgery

Updated: 2011-07-05 18:10


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Chavez gets hero's welcome after cancer surgery

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez greets supporters while appearing on a balcony of Miraflores Palace soon after his return to the country from Cuba, where he underwent surgery and treatment for cancer, in Caracas July 4, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Asked how she thinks the situation will affect Chavez politically, she said: "What he's going through has strengthened him more."

Vice-President Elias Jaua continued the show of confidence that the Chavez government and state TV projected all day long by insisting the president would be staying at his palace and not at a military hospital.

Chavez's opponents have criticized the lack of details about his illness.

"We don't know exactly what the president's illness is, what treatment he needs and what consequences this treatment will bring," opposition lawmaker Alfonso Marquina told The Associated Press. "What we demand is greater responsibility, not only on the president's part but by all of those high in the government to inform the Venezuelan people properly about the president's real situation."

Chavez has been dominant in the oil-exporting country for the nearly 13 years he's spent in office, and his absence created a void that he clearly wanted to fill.

Jaua, Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro and other confidants have stfirst time in years, Venezuelans are thinking about what a post-Chavez era might look like. This raises concerns about the lack of an heir-apparent."

Chavez seemed determined to dispel such doubts.

Looking down on his supporters outside the palace, Chavez gushed: "My thanks for so much support, so many manifestations of love."

"Love is the best remedy for any illness," he said.


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