Venezuela’s Finance Minister Says Chavez to Seek Re-Election in 2012

Posted July 18th, 2011 at 5:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Venezuela's finance minister says there is no doubt that President Hugo Chavez will run for re-election next year, despite returning to Cuba to begin chemotherapy following recent cancer surgery.

Finance Minister Jorge Giordani made the comment on state television Monday, two days after President Chavez flew back to the island, where he underwent surgery last month to remove a cancerous tumor. The president has not said what kind of cancer he has and it is not clear how long he will be in Cuba this time. Also last month, Mr. Chavez underwent an operation in Cuba for what officials said was an abscess in his pelvic area.

Mr. Chavez delegated some of his powers to Giordani and Vice President Elias Jaua after the national assembly approved his trip. The president has resisted calls from the opposition to temporarily hand over the presidency to the vice president during his absence.

The 56-year-old president has ruled the South American nation since 1999. Mr. Chavez has told Venezuelans he intends to remain in control of the country.