CARACAS, Friday December 07, 2012 | Update

President Chávez returns to Venezuela from Cuba

At around 2:30 am, President Hugo Chávez arrived in Venezuela from Cuba, and told reporters that he was "happy" for his return, state-run television channel VTV reported

Chávez said he was in a good spirit and very optimistic to be in his country again (Photo: Miraflores Press Office)
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Friday December 07, 2012  07:27 AM
"I am very happy, as you can see, to be here again," said President Hugo Chávez upon his arrival at Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetia, coastal Vargas state, around 2:30 am on Friday.

Since November 27, Chávez was in Cuba undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy. However, since November 15 he had not been seen in public.

"Much optimism! Good spirit!" he said upon his return to Venezuela. He highlighted that the election of governors will take place in nine days, on December 16. "Look at this, Nicolás (Maduro, the Venezuelan Executive Vice-President and Foreign Affairs Minister), we are pulling off one victory after the other."

"Today (Friday), it has been two months since the triumph of October 7 (the presidential vote where Chávez was reelected). Yesterday (Thursday), we marked 14 years of our victory of December 6, 1998 (when Chávez was first elected as Venezuelan president), and we are eight days ahead of the upcoming victory (in the election of governors.)"

National Assembly Speaker Diosdado Cabello replied, "My commander, we really have a chance to win the 23 governor's offices nationwide. I am saying this in a serious way, without any arrogance. I am speaking based on surveys."

Chávez was welcomed at the Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetia by some members of his executive cabinet, including Minister of Electricity Héctor Navarro, Minister of Communications and Information Ernesto Villegas, Defense Minister Diego Molero Bellavia, and some family members as well.
Begging for cocoa

"Cocoa is to Venezuelans what wine is to the French," says Alejandro Prosperi, head of the Venezuelan Chamber of Cocoa, using this simile to express the paramount importance or the cocoa industry for the country. Often times heralded as "the best cocoa in the world," a passion for quality dating back to the sixteenth century has made Venezuelan cocoa growers to enjoy high prestige at international level and their product to be among the most sought-after in the world.

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