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Chavez Visits Troops After Recent Surgery


Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez (C) talks to soldiers as he attends a ceremony at the military academy in Caracas July 7, 2011

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez (C) talks to soldiers as he attends a ceremony at the military academy in Caracas July 7, 2011

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has appeared at a military base in an apparent show of strength after his recent surgery in Cuba to remove a cancerous tumor.

The president did not stay long at the base Thursday, saying he did not have much time. But he strolled among cadets and soldiers, and told them he was fighting his disease. He vowed to survive and win.

The visit was shown live on state television. On Tuesday, President Chavez skipped a military parade marking the bicentennial of Venezuela's independence from Spain. Instead, he addressed troops in a televised address from the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas and met with military commanders there.

The 56-year-old president announced last week that doctors had removed a tumor with "cancerous cells" during his surgery. He did not indicate the type of cancer he had, and questions remain about his health. Prior to that surgery, Chavez underwent an operation in Cuba for what officials said was an abscess in his pelvic area.

On Monday, 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.

Chavez has ruled Venezuela since 1999.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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