Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Monday went to formally register as a candidate for reelection in the Oct. 7 vote aboard a truck and cheered by thousands of followers.
Wearing a red beret and sports clothing, Chavez left Miraflores Palace en route to the National Election Council offices some 10 blocks away riding on the back of a truck painted in the national colors of yellow, red and touches of blue and bearing the slogan “Chavez, the heart of the fatherland.”
The leftist president, who is recovering from cancer, greeted the huge crowd along with daughters Rosa Virginia and Rosines and brother Adan Chavez, as well as Vice President Elias Jaua and other top officials.
A day after his rival, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles registered his candidacy surrounded by supporters and after having walked 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) on foot, on Monday it was the president’s turn.
During his trip through the streets of Caracas, Chavez’s partisans awaited him with flags, signs, animated music and balloons to greet him boisterously, while some of them tried to capture the moment with the cameras in their mobile phones.
Chavez spent April 30-May 10 in Cuba for radiation treatment that followed a Feb. 26 operation in Havana to have a second malignant tumor removed.
The first tumor was extracted in June 2011, also in Cuba, where the president’s cancer was first detected when he fell ill during an official visit.
Chavez has not released any details about the nature of the cancer, saying only that it was in his pelvic region.
In office since 1999, Chavez is seeking another six-year term in the October balloting.