Hundreds rally to welcome Chavez home in Venezuela




CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Hundreds of Venezuelans have gathered at a rally to welcome President Hugo Chavez home from Cuba, where he underwent cancer surgery to remove a tumor.

Chavez’s supporters beat drums, danced, blew horns and waved flags at Miraflores Palace, waiting for Chavez to speak from a balcony.

Some in Saturday’s crowd wore T-shirts with Chavez’s face emblazoned on them. Others said they are praying for the president’s health. Many of the president’s supporters say they fully expect Chavez to overcome his illness and win re-election in October.

The Venezuelan leader arrived home on Friday night looking haggard but expressing optimism that he will survive after his latest surgery. Some in the crowd shouted, “Onward Commander!”