Cancer-stricken Chavez launches reelection bid

Thousands of supporters thronged the streets of Caracas to join cancer-stricken Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as he registered to seek reelection amid ongoing concerns about his health.

The president sought to play down any concerns he might seek to extend his long-ruling socialist government -- which has nationalized strategic industries and heaped praise on Cuba's Communist model -- should he lose at the polls.

"As a player in the political game, I have come here and I commit, before Venezuela and the world, to recognize the outcome of the presidential election" on October 7, said the 57-year-old Chavez.

If he were to be reelected and serve out his term through 2019, Chavez would end up spending 20 years in office.

The Venezuelan government has disclosed few details about Chavez's health, leading to intense speculation over the political future of Latin America's most prominent leftist leader.

In May, Chavez -- a ferocious critic of the United States who has been in power since 1999 -- sought treatment in Cuba, his closest regional ally, after a recurrence of the cancer which he first disclosed last year.

The president said Saturday that he feels "quite fit" after several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, and he seems keen to quash any speculation that he might not be healthy enough to run again for office.

He saluted a sea of supporters wearing his party's signature red -- many chanting "Ooh, Ah, Chavez is not leaving" -- from the back of a pickup that took him from the presidential palace to the electoral board four blocks away.

"There will be 10, there will be 10, 10 million, there will be 10," marchers chanted in a reference to the 10 million votes by which the president has said he will win in October.

Decked out in a jacket in the colors of Venezuela's red, blue and gold flag, as well as his red beret, Chavez said he was the "fatherland's candidate," pumping his fist and blowing kisses to a crowd that went wild.

With close aides and his daughters at his side, Chavez walked the last few yards to the electoral board's office before saluting his supporters again from the building's balcony.

"Each one of us is a soldier for Chavez, and we are going to get out the vote for the president," said Ana Luzardo, a social worker and staunch Chavez backer.

"We will give our lives if necessary for our president," another supporter, Yudith Iriarte, 46, said.

Despite reassurances from Chavez himself that his radiation treatments have been successful, many Venezuelans have doubts about whether he can make it to the election.

In April, Chavez put his health and political future in the spotlight, begging God aloud at a pre-Easter mass: "Please don't take me yet."

"Give me your crown of thorns, Christ, I will bleed; Give me your cross -- 100 crosses -- and I will carry them for you. But give me life, because I still have things to do for my people and my country," Chavez said at the time.

The electoral board has said that in the event a substitute were needed, candidates could be put forth up to 10 days before the presidential election.

On Sunday, thousands of Venezuelans marched in the streets of the capital to show support for opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, 39, as he formally registered to take on Chavez.

Capriles, the youthful Miranda state governor and center-left candidate for a united opposition, has laid out a policy platform focused on combating violence, creating jobs and boosting social programs.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • AFP monitoring deployment of Chinese seaplanes in Spratlys
    AFP monitoring deployment of Chinese seaplanes in Spratlys

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is adopting a wait and see approach amid reports that China will soon deploy seaplanes to further strengthen its maritime claims in the disputed Spratlys. Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala, spokesman for the military and commander of the AFP Civil Relations Service, said they have yet to ascertain the real purpose behind China’s continuing aggressive moves in the region. “We will wait and see before coming up with an official stand,” Kakilala said when …

  • US eyes access to Phl bases in 8 locations
    US eyes access to Phl bases in 8 locations

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington’s next phase in its Asia “pivot,” deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia “pivot” has already seen US Marines rotating through the …

  • Washington bucks China’s aggressive actions
    Washington bucks China’s aggressive actions

    Short of condemning China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea, a senior US military official said Washington does not support any act of coercion and bullying. “We don’t stand for coercion, bullying and aggressiveness,” said Brig. Gen. Christopher Mahoney, assistant US military director for  Phl-US Joint Balikatan Exercises 2015. At the sidelines of this year’s joint military exercises’ static aircraft display held at Clark Air Base in Pampanga, Mahoney told a media briefing that …

  • ‘Giving Bangsamoro police control is constitutional’
    ‘Giving Bangsamoro police control is constitutional’

    The proposed grant to the chief minister of the envisioned Bangsamoro region of operational control over police forces in the area is consistent with the Constitution, a senior administration lawmaker said yesterday. Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of Dasmariñas City in Cavite made the statement to allay the fears of his colleagues that the proposal, contained in the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), would violate the Charter. It is clear in the proposed BBL that the Bangsamoro police will be part …

  • Noy off to KL for Asean meet
    Noy off to KL for Asean meet

    President Aquino will arrive here this afternoon with Manila hopeful of support from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to achieve peace and stability in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) as well as economic prosperity and inclusive growth among the people in the region. Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Jose Eduardo Malaya III said that with respect to the dramatic developments in the South China Sea, Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman had called for the early …

  • Madrid Fusion Manila reignites Pinoy appetite for great food
    Madrid Fusion Manila reignites Pinoy appetite for great food

    After months of preparation and hard work from both the government and private sectors, the future of food is finally here in the country’s capital. Madrid Fusión Manila opened its doors on Friday to an international delegation who eagerly awaited the discussions of some of the most renowned and revered names in the culinary world. Madrid Fusión Manila is a historic gastronomic event marked by talks and exhibitions that showcases Spain and the Philippines’ shared cultural heritage, as well as …

  • Family receives execution order, visits Mary Jane
    Family receives execution order, visits Mary Jane

    As Philippine officials continue to plead for a stay in the execution of death convict Mary Jane Veloso, the Indonesian government has sent a notice to her family ordering her execution at an undisclosed date, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday. Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said Indonesian authorities also allowed Veloso’s family and her lawyers to visit her on Nebu Kambangan execution island. “The Prosecutor gave notice letter to the family of Mary Jane …

  • ‘Pinoys’ cheerful attitude backs tourism campaign’
    ‘Pinoys’ cheerful attitude backs tourism campaign’

    The 2015 World Happiness Report ranking the Philippines as 90th among 158 happiest countries is a validation of the government’s tourism campaign, “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” a Palace official said yesterday. The news did not come as a surprise as Filipinos are naturally cheerful, Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options