Among other things, Hugo Chávez cited "reasons of love" in declaring his intent to seek a third six-year term as Venezuela's president over the weekend. The 56-year-old socialist leader told the press that last month's surgery in Cuba to remove a baseball-sized tumor had been tremendously successful and while he said there were still some risks, he was cancer-free and ready to renew his commitment to Venezuela. Recounting his time with close friend Fidel Castro, Chávez said that the former Cuban president gave him the good news after a week of chemotherapy. "He told me they found nothing. I have never heard such a short speech by Fidel," said Chávez "It was very different from how it was a month ago."
Back in Venezuela, Chávez has been loudly broadcasting his good health and intent to run for president in 2012. "I have medical reasons, scientific reasons, human reasons, reasons of love and political reasons to keep myself at the front of the government and the candidacy with more force than before," Chávez told the Correo del Orinoco newspaper. "On a personal level, I tell you I have never thought for even an instant of retiring from the presidency."
"I am determined to arrive at 2031," Chávez added, a reference to the "golden decade" he's promised the Venezuelan people between 2020 and 2030.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.