Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez kisses a Venezuelan flag at Miraflores Presidential Palace in the capital Caracas on July 4, 2011.
Source: Press TV
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has addressed the nation after returning home from Cuba where he underwent a surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.
The 56-year-old Venezuelan chief executive gave a speech from the balcony of Miraflores Palace in the capital Caracas on Monday, Reuters reported.
Chavez waved a Venezuelan flag and expressed gratitude to his supporters, who packed the capital's main square to give him a hero's welcome.
"Long live Venezuela... Long live the Venezuelan people! Long live the union of Latin America, long live Fidel, long live Cuba, long live life!" Chavez said during his speech.
The popular Venezuelan president flew back to Caracas before dawn on Monday, a day before the South American country celebrates the 200th anniversary of its independence.
"This is time for life, this is the time of the bicentenary motherland, this is the time for the final independence of our country," he went on to say.
Earlier on Sunday, thousands of Venezuelans staged a huge rally in Caracas to show support for Chavez, where they waved flags, beat drums and chanted “Long live Chavez!”
The Venezuelan chief executive, who has been in office for more than a decade, plans to run for re-election in 2012 and serve at least one more six-year term. He has focused on implementing wide-ranging reforms in the country during his presidential tenure.