Chavez Holds Midnight Meeting

Hugo Chavez and Jose Ramon Machado. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES, April 12 — Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez returned home from radiotherapy treatment in Cuba on Wednesday evening and promptly held a midnight meeting recalling exactly 10 years earlier when his country was amid a coup attempt.

After reminiscing with some of the key figures in his government about the failed 72-hour coup (April 11-14, 2002), which had the behind-the-scenes support of the Bush Administration, Chavez made a call for unity around his presidency and the United Socialist Party.

Chavez was accompanied to the airport in Havana by First VP Jose Ramón Machado, on a day that President Raúl Castro was attending to visiting Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

See the 36-minute interchange (in Spanish) on TelesurTV

The radiotherapy session was Chavez third in three consecutive weeks following his surgery to remove a second cancerous tumor in late February. A first tumor was removed last June.

Chavez has routinely been traveling to Havana on Saturdays and returning to Venezuela on Wednesday nights.

He said his treatment was progressing on course and that he is feeling good.

“I ask Christ and all of you Venezuelans, conscience, unity, work, but above all unity, to make possible a great [electoral] victory on October 7, to guarantee peace and continuing on the path of socialism that will convert Venezuela into a power in this part of the world,” he said.

Hugo Chávez is the Cuban government’s top political ally and under his presidency, Venezuela has become Cuba’s leading trade partner.