Loyalists rally behind Chavez

Thousands of supporters of Venezuela president Hugo Chavez held demonstrations across the country to show support for their leader, currently recovering from cancer surgery in Cuba.

Demonstrators danced, beat drums and waved flags as they marched through the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.

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Crowds of Chavez supporters also held simultaneous rallies in other cities.

In messages posted on Mr Chavez’s Twitter account, the president cheered on the demonstrators.

One message said: “Let’s go boys! Building the socialist homeland!”