HAVANA – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was welcomed by Cuban President Raul Castro at the international airport in Havana, where he will continue the radiation therapy treatment against cancer he began a week ago, state media reported Sunday.
Chavez held “a brief and animated conversation” with Castro upon his arrival Saturday night at the Jose Marti airport, the official Juventud Rebelde newspaper said in a front-page story accompanied by a photograph of both leaders.
This is Chavez’s second visit to Cuba after his latest operation performed on the island a little over a month ago to remove a new tumor, a recurrence of the cancer for which he was operated on last June.
Last weekend, the Venezuelan leader returned to Havana to begin the radiation treatment that, according to what he publicly announced about it, he will have to undergo for at least four more sessions although he said that some of those might be administered in Venezuela.
The return of Chavez to Cuba on Saturday came 72 hours after he had jetted back to Caracas after being on the island for five days to undergo the first radiation sessions.
Also present at the airport welcoming ceremony was Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.
Chavez had surgery on June 10, 2011, for a pelvic abscess in Havana on the last leg of a tour he had made of Brazil, Ecuador and Cuba, and doctors later detected a cancerous tumor in his pelvic region, which was then removed.
Since the first operation, the Venezuelan president has returned to Cuba on several occasions to receive chemotherapy or have medical checkups performed.