CARACAS (Reuters) - President Hugo Chavez returned home to Venezuela on Wednesday after his latest session of cancer treatment in Cuba, as he aims to fight off the illness and win a new six-year term in an October election.
The 57-year-old socialist leader walking unaided from his plane after it landed in his home state of Barinas and he was greeted on the runway by relatives, the vice president and several government ministers.
“The socialist revolution is irreversible ... I continue recuperating,” he said in a brief speech on state TV, wishing Venezuelans a happy Easter weekend and saying he was “now more Christian than ever.”
His second session of radiation treatment had gone well, he said, and the results of all his medical tests were positive. He is expected to return to Cuba for a third session soon.
Flying back and forth to Havana for the radiation therapy, Chavez has been running a kind of “virtual” election campaign via Twitter and appearances on state television, while his opposition rival tours the South American country.
Very little is known about Chavez’s condition - he has had three cancer operations in less than a year - so doubts remain about the future of the man who has dominated politics in the continent’s biggest oil exporter for the last 13 years.
The opposition sees its candidate, Miranda state Governor Henrique Capriles, as its best hope of unseating Chavez at the October 7 vote. In the latest opinion poll released last month, the president had a solid 13-percentage point lead, but many Venezuelans remained undecided.
Reporting by Daniel Wallis: Editing by Paul Simao