Hollywood actor Sean Penn wished his “friend” Venezuela dictator President Hugo Chavez well during his continued battle against cancer.

“He is one of the most important forces we’ve had on this planet,” Penn said in a video captured by the Associated Press. “I will wish him nothing but that great strength that he has shown over and over again.”

Penn added that his wishes came from “love” and “gratitude.”

“I just want to say that from a very American point of view of my friend President Chavez, it is only possible to be as inspiring as he is – as a two way street,” Penn said. “And he would say that his inspiration is the people.”

Chavez recently announced that his cancer had returned – after winning re-election – and made plans to return to Cuba for more treatment.