Venezuela's Chavez seen 'strong' but not home soon

CARACAS - Nearly two weeks after surgery in Cuba, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is "stronger than ever" but will not rush home until he is ready, his defense minister said on Thursday.
"I call him every day to give him news, he is making great improvement," General Carlos Mata Figueroa told state TV in the latest comment from a Chavez ally aiming to quash speculation the prolonged absence means he may be seriously sick.
"He's getting better ... stronger than ever," the minister added.
At the end of a regional tour on June 10, Chavez underwent an operation in Havana for a swelling in his pelvis and has been out of public sight since, except for one set of photos.