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Chavez heads to Venezuela after cancer treatment

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was headed home from Cuba Wednesday after a third course of radiation therapy for cancer, state media reported.

"I will live and I will overcome!" Chavez wrote on his Twitter social network account as his plane took off from Havana.

He timed his return to Venezuela to participate in events that commemorate his return to the presidency after being briefly removed from power 10 years ago during a coup.

"The Empire (as he calls the United States) and its bourgeois lackeys thought that they were overthrowing us," Chavez wrote on Twitter. "What a surprise they got. I told them: This is not an unarmed revolution!"

Before his departure from Cuba, Deputy Minister of Public Safety Nestor Reverol said on the state television station, "We send warm greetings to our commander president, Hugo Chavez, who we are awaiting today."

Chavez, 57, had surgery in late February in Havana for a recurrence of cancer that originally was diagnosed in 2011.

He underwent the first two rounds of treatment in Havana, after surgery last month to take out a malignant tumor in the same pelvic area where another tumor was removed in June 2011.

Officials in Caracas have never specified the type of cancer the president has or exactly where, but insist it has not spread to other organs.

Despite the cancer, Chavez is running for a third six-year term as president in the October 7 election. He faces a tough reelection against opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.

Chavez is expected to undergo five more weeks of radiation treatment in Havana, but has planned to return home for brief periods during that time.

nr/trm/mdl

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