CARACAS, Venezuela -- President Hugo Chávez made a surprise return to Venezuela on Monday, 10 weeks after leaving for cancer surgery in Cuba, sparking celebration among his supporters.
VTV, the government television station, said that he arrived at 2:30 a.m. He was taken to a military hospital in Caracas.
"We have arrived again in Venezuela," said a post at 3:42 a.m. on Mr. Chávez's long-dormant Twitter account. "Thank you, my God!! Thank you, beloved people!! We will continue treatment here."
Mr. Chávez, 58, was re-elected on Oct. 7, but on Dec. 8 he shocked the nation by announcing that his cancer had returned and that he would have to go to Cuba for emergency surgery. He left on Dec. 10 and had the operation the next day. He has been out of sight and silent since, plunging the country into increasing uncertainty.
He was unable to return to be sworn in for the start of his new term on Jan. 10. The country has been run since his departure by Mr. Maduro; Diosdado Cabello, the National Assembly president; and a group of government ministers.
The opposition has protested vehemently, charging that the arrangement is unconstitutional and asking for more detailed information about the president's health. In recent days, a group of 21 students had chained themselves together in protest in front of the Cuban Embassy in Caracas.
The government has never said what type of cancer Mr. Chávez has or where exactly in his body it occurred, although it has said that his recent surgery, his fourth since June 2011, was followed by complications, including bleeding and a severe lung infection.
On Friday, Jorge Arreaza, the science and technology minister, who is married to one of Mr. Chávez's daughters, said the president was undergoing palliative treatment. He did not elaborate.
Unlike Mr. Chávez's returns from previous trips to Cuba, the government did not televise his arrival or release video or photographs, nor did he address the country.
Officials said on Friday that because of a breathing tube in Mr. Chávez's throat, he had difficulty speaking. They also released photographs of Mr. Chávez for the first time since his surgery. The photographs showed him lying in a hospital bed flanked by two of his daughters.
"We are very happy," Vice President Nicolás Maduro said Monday in an early morning telephone call to the government television station.
"He is an example of permanent battle, and here we have him in Caracas, in our Caracas, in our Venezuela, here he is, our commander."
However, when he was asked by a television announcer for information on Mr. Chávez's condition, Mr. Maduro declined to provide details.
A short time later, Information Minister Ernesto Villegas led a celebration, calling members of the station staff onto a set and chanting: "He returned! He returned!"
Another post on the president's Twitter account thanked the Cuban leaders Fidel and Raúl Castro and added, "Thanks to Venezuela for so much love!!!"
"I am holding tight to Christ and confident in my doctors and nurses," a third post said. "We will live and we will win!!!"
The posts on Monday were the first on Mr. Chávez's Twitter account since Nov. 1.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.