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Hugo Chavez visits troops on live TV

Hugo Chavez spoke while promoting several hundred troops in fatigues gathered in a courtyard.

By Associated Press / July 7, 2011

In this photo taken on July 4, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez greets supporters from a balcony of the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela.

Ariana Cubillos/AP

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CARACAS, Venezuela

Venezuela's ailing President Hugo Chavez appeared live on television Thursday, meeting with cadets and other soldiers at the country's largest military base and vowing to survive his recent cancer treatment.

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"We will live. We will be victorious," said Chavez, who was dressed in a blue-and-white track suit.

He spoke while promoting several hundred troops in fatigues gathered in a courtyard.

It was the first public appearance by Chavez since Tuesday, when he spoke and met with visiting leaders during Venezuela's bicentennial celebrations. Chavez noted that troops from China, Russia and Belarus took part in the country's bicentennial parade.

Chavez said he couldn't stay to speak long.

"I don't have much time, but I give you my heart like always," Chavez said.

The former lieutenant colonel recalled he had been stationed at the base and later hollered commands to the troops to stand at ease and at attention.

"Before anything, I have arrived in my alma mater, the site of my second birth," he said, referring to the military academy.

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