Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez holds a sword that once belonged to independence hero Simon Bolivar at a meeting in Caracas Dec. 10. / Marcelo Garcia, Miraflores Press Office, via AP
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Hundreds of supporters of President Hugo Chavez have gathered in Venezuela's capital for marches commemorating the fall of the country's last dictatorship in 1958.
Government supporters and opponents are holding separate gatherings for the anniversary amid uncertainty about the country's future due to Chavez's fight with cancer.
The president has been absent for more than six weeks, and the government says he is in Cuba recovering after cancer surgery. The president has not been seen or spoken publicly since he left for Havana on Dec. 10.
Chavez's supporters and public employees gathered near stages in a neighborhood blocks away from the presidential palace, where music blared from speakers with the slogan: "Chavez, heart of the nation."
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