Feb. 18 - Ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returns home to Caracas after lengthy treatment in Cuba for cancer. Sarah Sheffer reports.
"He's back, he's back he's back" hails Venezuela's Information Minister Ernesto Villegas on state television, announcing the surprise return of President Hugo Chavez to Caracas on Monday. Chavez, seen here departing for cancer surgery in Cuba last December, has been battling the disease threatening his 14-year rule since 2011. These pictures of the 58-year-old socialist leader published last Friday were the first of the leader since he underwent a six-hour operation on December 11. Venezuelans in Caracas cheered, celebrating the news. His overnight return has thrilled supporters in the nation of 29 million people, where his common touch and welfare policies have made him an idol to the poor. Chavez's arrival implies some improvement in his condition -- at least enough to handle a flight of several hours. But aides have emphasized in recent days his state remains "complex".