President Chavez returns to Venezuela from Cuba

July 23, 2011 - 10:14 PM
Cuba Chavez

In this photo released by Venezuela's Ministry of Communication and Information, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, right, and Argentina's soccer legend Diego Maradona bump fists as Cuba's leader Fidel Castro looks on in Havana, Cuba, Friday, July 22, 2011. Maradona visited the Venezuelan leader who's receiving cancer treatment in Cuba. (AP Photo/Estudios Revolucion)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez has returned to Venezuela after spending almost a week in Cuba to receive chemotherapy treatment for his cancer.

The 56-year-old socialist leader's flight from Havana arrived Saturday night.

Venezuelan state television broadcast footage of Chavez being greeted at the airport by Vice President Elias Jaua and other ministers.

Chavez told the assembled ministers: "I thank you for coming so quickly to this meeting."

Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba on June 20 to remove a cancerous tumor. He hasn't said what type of cancer he has been diagnosed with or specified where exactly it was located, saying only that it was in his pelvic region. He says chemotherapy is necessary to ensure cancer cells don't reappear.