The media's favorite guessing games...'Where's Hugo"...and...'Is Chavez dead yet?"...are over...for now.
They are versions of games played in Miami...and by media for decades...about Fidel Castro, currently a close associate of Chavez.
President Hugo Chavez returned suddenly to Caracas early Friday morning...after 10 days of oxygen treatments in La Habana.
Chavez, 58...even joked...'So, where's the party?'' to some cabinet members who greeted him at the airport.
Because his Twitter account had gone uncharacteristically silent...and he hadn't been seen publicly since 15 November...the media speculated that complications from his undisclosed illness had returned.
But Hugo walked unaided from the plane.
Venezuelan bonds surged again went he announced his return to Cuba for new treatments...even if he has declared himself 'completely cured'...but Friday slumped by 2-3%....though still up almost 10% for the year.
Meanwhile...in Brasilia...instead of Chavez...Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez will represent Venezuela's first Mercosur meeting...as a full member.