Chavez supporters celebrate his return

Reuters

by Reuters

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Supporters of Hugo Chavez gather at a hospital in Venezuela, where the president is being treated after a surprise return from Cuba.

Oil minister Rafael Ramirez was among top officials visiting Chavez at the military hospital in Caracas.

The president has been away for more than two months undergoing cancer surgery.

The absence threatened his 14-year leadership - but now supporters hope he can return to active rule.

SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) CHAVEZ SUPPORTER GLORIA VANEGAS SAYING:

"The president has a mission to fulfil and he's here fulfilling that mission for the people who adore him, who love him. We prayed a lot for him and will continue praying."

There's no new information on Chavez's health, and aides say his condition remains "complex".

Chavez has urged voters to back the vice president if he has to stand down.

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