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Venezuela's Chavez makes surprise return after medical treatment

Juan Barreto / AFP - Getty Images

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (C) embraces his daughters Maria (L) and Rosa at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas on July 4. Chavez returned to Venezuela Monday after spending three weeks in Cuba, where he had a cancerous tumor extirpated.

 

After a weeks-long absence in Cuba, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez returned to his country by plane before dawn on Monday. AP reports:

He went to Cuba on June 8 for what ostensibly was a previously scheduled visit. Chavez has said he underwent an initial operation June 11 to have a pelvic abscess removed.

After an 18-day silence, a video was shown Thursday in which a thinner, visibly weakened Chavez said he had undergone a second surgery to remove a cancerous, abscessed tumor.

Uncertainty continues to swirl around his prognosis and the impact it could have on his grip on power.

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