Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez will run for re-election next year despite his struggle with cancer said Finance Minister Jorge Giordani who underlined there’s no Plan B. Giordani’s statement came as the populist leader is in Cuba undergoing chemotherapy and twitted to his compatriots his “insurmountable optimism”.
There's no doubt he's going to be there in the 2012 elections and afterward for many more years Giordani said in an interview on state television.
The 56-year-old Chavez, who has been in office more than 12 years, has indicated he intends to continue with his re-election campaign next year despite his illness. Chavez has not been seen on television since he arrived in Cuba on Saturday night. He said before leaving that he would begin chemotherapy right away.
A message posted on Chavez's Twitter account Monday night said: Good night fellow citizens! Closing another day of this battle for life here in Cuba, with unbeatable optimism! Fidel came again!
Fidel Castro has often been at Chavez's side during the Venezuelan leader's treatment in Cuba. When Fidel underwent abdominal surgery a few years ago, Chavez would travel regularly to Havana to be at the side of the ailing Cuban leader.
Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba on June 20 to remove a cancerous tumour, which he has said was the size of a baseball. He hasn't said what type of cancer has been diagnosed or specified where exactly it was located saying only that it was in his pelvic region.
Chavez has said the chemotherapy is aimed at ensuring cancer cells don't reappear. He hasn't said how long the treatment is likely to last.
When asked how long Chavez could be away, Vice President Elias Jaua told state television in an interview Monday night: I don't know. That will depend on his treatment.
Before leaving for Cuba Chavez transferred some limited powers, particularly “budgetary” decisions to Vice president Jaua and Finance minister Giordani in an attempt to quell criticism from the opposition in Caracas.
However Vice President Jaua told state television that Chavez, despite his absence, is fully exercising the core functions of head of state and government and discarded any transfer or authority, this is absolutely ruled out. This point has been clarified from the legal point of view, and from the political-ethical point of view it should be forgotten.
Chavez has for the first time delegated a modicum of administrative control to his vice president, with the ability to sign his orders.
The president has said he would hand over his full presidential powers to Jaua only if I felt my abilities were impaired.
Jaua who has been named as a possible successor rejected point blank such an option and said he would defend Chavez mandate and is only interested in administrative tasks. “I don’t aspire to be president, nor do I aspire to become a traitor”
Chavez, in office since 1999, has indicated he would seek a third six-year term in 2012 and has brushed aside any notion that he would be hampered by medical issues.