President Hugo Chavez returned from Cuba on Friday following cancer-related medical treatment, walking and joking at the airport in images shown on state TV that were his first public appearance since Nov. 15.
"I'm happy to be back again, happy and enthused," Chavez said as he greeted ministers effusively and appeared festive, asking, "So, where's the party?"
The 58-year-old socialist leader traveled to Havana ten days ago to receive "hyperbaric oxygenation" - a treatment normally used to alleviate bone decay from radiation therapy.
But speculation had been rife he may have suffered a recurrence of the cancer that has afflicted him twice in the last two years.
Earlier this year, Chavez declared himself "completely cured." Officials had maintained his latest trip to Cuba was just a scheduled follow-up to the radiation therapy he underwent in the first half of 2012.