HAVANA, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said Monday he was pleased ailing President Hugo Chavez is back in his native Venezuela, after more than two months in Cuba recovering from cancer surgery.
"I am very pleased that you have been able to return to that piece of land in the Americas that you love so much, and to the sister nation that supports you so," Castro wrote in a letter to Chavez published Monday by Cuban media.
The 58-year-old Chavez, in power since 1999, surprised Venezuelans and the world when he landed in the capital Caracas in the early hours of Monday. He was immediately admitted to the city ' s military hospital, where he will continue anti-cancer treatment after undergoing a fourth operation on Dec. 11 in Havana.
Explaining the secrecy surrounding Chavez's previously unannounced return, Castro said, "everything had to be done with a lot of discretion, to avoid giving the fascist groups the opportunity to plan their cynical actions against the Bolivarian revolutionary process."
Castro added, "we will always live struggling for justice among human beings ... aware ... that it fell to us to live in the most critical era of the history of humankind."
Chavez, who was reelected Oct. 7, 2012, missed his inauguration ceremony Jan. 10 and it was postponed until his condition improved. There has been no word as yet on whether a date will be set.
The last status report issued by the Venezuelan government on Chavez's health on Feb. 15, said he was breathing with the help of a tracheal tube that made talking difficult.
CARACAS, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela's government Friday released the first images of ailing President Hugo Chavez since he underwent cancer surgery in Cuba two months ago, showing him propped up in bed flanked by his two eldest daughters. Full story
CARACAS, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela's ailing President Hugo Chavez is breathing through a tracheal tube and has difficulty talking, top aides said Friday after releasing images of the recovering head of state for the first time since he was operated on two months ago.
"The respiratory infection that emerged during the post-operative stage was controlled, but a certain degree of (breathing) insufficiency persists," Communication and Information Minister Ernesto Villegas read a written statement broadcast on national radio and television stations. Full story