Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has rallied a crowd of thousands of supporters vowing to win a "battle for life" after undergoing cancer surgery.
Mr Chavez addressed the crowd from a balcony of the presidential palace in Caracas just hours after his surprise return from Cuba.
The Venezuelan president thanked Fidel Castro, saying that the veteran leader had been practically his "medical chief" while he was recovering in the country.
Wearing the red beret from his days as an army paratroop commander, Mr Chavez, who spoke strongly but was thinner and paler than usual, told the crowd he would "win this battle for life".
Left-winger Mr Chavez returned from Cuba on Monday as the country was preparing to celebrate the 200th anniversary of its independence from Spain.
Venezuela Hugo Chavez cancer battle