Hugo Chavez danced, sang and did everything possible to prove that he is ready for the fight ahead that could get him re-elected for six more years.
Chavez arrived to the Diego Ibarra Square, just outside the National Electoral Council, and thousands were waiting for him. He went there to register for the upcoming elections.
The Square looked like a celebration. People where happy and relieved.
"This is a special day for us. It's not just that Chavez is running again. This is an example that our president is back, that he is well and healthy and that he defeated cancer," one woman told me.
Chavez spoke - as he usually does - for hours… He looked a bit swollen but there was no evidence, as some have said lately, that he is dying. If he was ill then he certainly hid it very well.
Monday's rally was important because it was his opportunity to put an end to the speculations that have been going on about his condition.
"They are saying I'm dying, that I'm on a wheelchair," he said, adding they also said "he won't come here to present his candidacy…That they are looking for a successor. I say thank you god and my people. I am here in front of you and in your name and of my country presenting my candidacy for president for the cycle 22013- 2019."
Chavez has had two tumors removed from his pelvic region and has undergone rounds of radiation and chemotherapy. The president says he is healthy and fit to run again but that hasn't been enough to quiet the speculations that his condition could me much more serious than initially acknowledged.
Meanwhile, his challenger, Enrique Capriles, has been traveling across the country to convince people to vote for him. On Sunday he also registered his candidacy and thousands of people joined him.
Capriles is running on a centre-left platform. "I don't want to be the president of a group, or of a sector but of all Venezuelans. I'm nobody's enemy… My enemy is Venezuela's problems. This is a country that has everything to move forwards but a government that doesn't allow it to move forward, that has divided us," he said.
Despite his illness, though, Chavez's approval ratings have remained above 50 per cent during the past year, and recent polls show he has 15-20 per cent lead over Capriles. The key to Venezuela's election is in the undecided…
Analysts here say that Chavez has managed his disease in a way that has benefitted him politically. That was evident on Monday as people wanted him to feel welcomed, loved and that he has their support. They threw flowers at him, cried for him and insisted over and over again that they want Chavez to win once again.