Chavez Marks Venezuelan Independence

Posted July 5th, 2011 at 4:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has marked the nation's independence by addressing troops in a televised address, one day after returning from Cuba, where he had a cancerous tumor removed.

Mr. Chavez delivered his comments Tuesday from the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas during a military parade on the bicentennial of Venezuela's independence from Spain.

As he congratulated the participants in the day's event, the president spoke about his health, saying he was glad to be back. No reason was given for the president's decision to skip the parade.

He delivered his address as he stood beside military commanders at the palace.

On Monday, President Chavez addressed thousands of supporters from the palace balcony, telling the crowd in a 30-minute speech that he will win this “battle for life.” The president also said he had to submit to “strict” medical treatment.

Last week, President Chavez announced in a televised speech from Cuba that he underwent surgery there to remove a tumor with “cancerous cells.” He did not indicate the type of cancer he had, and questions remain about his health. Prior to that surgery, Mr. Chavez underwent an operation in Cuba for what officials said was an abscess in his pelvic area.

The 56-year-old president has ruled Venezuela since 1999.