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Chavez praying for full recovery

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has attended a Mass with family after returning from his latest round of radiation therapy treatment in Cuba.

Mr Chavez put an arm around his mother while a priest led a prayer for the president's health.

His father and other relatives joined him at the Mass in his home state of Barinas.

The president returned from Cuba late on Wednesday and hugged relatives as he stepped off the presidential jet in Barinas, where his parents live.

The president said on the tarmac that he has been recovering well since the February surgery in Havana that removed a second tumour from his pelvic region.

"So far, fortunately there hasn't been any adverse reaction to the treatment," Mr Chavez said. "All the exams that have been carried out have shown positive results of physical recovery."

The 57-year-old leader has vowed to overcome cancer and is running for re-election in October.

Mr Chavez underwent his second round of daily radiation treatments this week. He began the treatments in late March and has said he plans to have a total of five rounds to help prevent a recurrence of his illness.

He has regularly travelled to and from Cuba for treatment since last June, when he said an initial surgery removed a tumour the size of a baseball.

Mr Chavez has not identified the type of cancer nor the precise location where the tumours have been removed.

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