Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez appeared before cameras on Monday sporting a shaved head, as the effects of chemotherapy begin to take a toll on his body. Chavez, though, looked energetic and even joked about his “new look” which he had anticipated last week as the “Yul Brynner” look.
Chavez shocked his country and the world recently when he announced that he was in Cuba receiving treatment for a cancerous tumor. Alongside Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, Chavez told the people of Venezuela he’d be fine.
On Monday, Chavez spoke to the people of Venezuela on television in an appearance at government house where he was set to swear in new ministers. The Venezuelan president looked energetic as he lectured on the benefits of chemotherapy and struck back at those who have speculated with his demise.
Wearing a black suit with a red tie and frameless glasses, Chavez made reference of his newly shaven head. “I was getting in the shower yesterday when a chunk of hair fell off my head, so we called the barber.”
Chavez blasted the Venezuelan opposition and “international commentators” who speculated about his illness. Noting his fight against cancer was “a collective effort,” Chavez said he didn’t have cancer in his colon, rectum, bladder, or his nose. He insisted there are no cancerous cells in his body and that his hair loss was a sign of the chemotherapy’s effectiveness.
Monday also found Chavez criticizing the NATO campaign in Libya as the Venezuelan president met a delegation representing Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi. According to news agencies the Libyan delegation delivered a letter from the embattled Gaddafi to his ally, Chavez, who has compared the Libyan leader to Simon Bolivar, one of the most important figures in the South American emancipation campaigns against the Spanish in the XIX century.
Chavez condemned the NATO operation against Libya from the first day describing it as gang-action by bullies that ignores international law and agreements.