Show of strength as Chavez returns from Cuban cancer treatment
Wednesday 06 July 2011
President Hugo Chavez received a hero's welcome as he rallied thousands of supporters upon his return to Venezuela, vowing to beat cancer after undergoing surgery in Cuba.
Wearing the combat fatigues and red beret of his army days, Mr Chavez projected strength as he spoke from the balcony of the presidential palace on Monday, waving to the crowd below and raising a fist.
The President, whose three-week absence spurred a flurry of rumours about the seriousness of his health problems, delivered a signature performance. "We will also win this battle for life," he said. "We will live! We will be victorious!"
Nonetheless, signs of Mr Chavez's fragile health peeked through the stagecraft. At one point, the 56-year-old leader grimaced with apparent discomfort as he struggled to wave his country's yellow, blue and red flag above his head. The flag ended up awkwardly draping over his scalp, until Mr Chavez emerged with an embarrassed smile from the fabric.
His surprise return in the small hours of Monday morning was signature Chavez and sent a powerful message that he remains in control. While he was away in Cuba, uncertainty swirled in Venezuela, both about how sick he was and what would happen if cancer were to force him from power.
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Was a Russian-made missile really parked in this quiet square?
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...