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Chavez vows to speed socialist drive in Venezuela

Chavez vows to speed socialist drive in Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez promised on Tuesday to accelerate his drive for socialism in Venezuela as he recovers from surgery that removed a cancerous tumor.
Chavez's confident remarks add to indications that the president expects to bounce back from his June 20 surgery in Cuba. He has also been shown in recent days doing stretching exercises, leading a Cabinet meeting and addressing troops.
"The opposition and the counterrevolution are crying out that Chavez is done for, that he's dying... that he'll have to hand over, that the transition is coming," Chavez said on state television, speaking in a phone call to a ceremony at a state-run university.
"Well, I'm going to tell you, with the grace of God and the will that we have, we're going to rise above all of this," Chavez added. "The only transition that's under way and that we have to accelerate and consolidate is the transition from the capitalist model ... to the socialist model."
Chavez has said he underwent surgery in Cuba to remove a tumor from his pelvic region. Chavez hasn't said what type of cancer is involved.
Since his return to Caracas on July 4, the 56-year-old president has slowed his normally heavy agenda and has limited the length of his televised speeches, saying he is under strict orders from his doctors.
Still, Chavez's voice seemed strong as he launched into a song by Venezuelan folk singer Ali Primera during his phone call on Tuesday. He excused himself after about 15 minutes, saying it was time to have a snack, followed by "physical rehabilitation and ... treatment."
Chavez, who is up for re-election in December 2012, has been actively posting messages on Twitter, and has made several public appearances in the past several days, though fewer than usual.
State television showed footage of him doing stretching exercises outdoors on Monday alongside several aides and military officers.
"I promise you I will live, we will live and triumph," Chavez told the students and professors, who responded with applause.
Chavez called his health situation "one of the ambushes of life." He told his audience at the tuition-free Bolivarian University that his illness has made him more determined than ever.
Chavez said he intends "to accompany you for many years more."
Chavez, a former army paratroop commander, said his rehabilitation regime has required discipline, including waking up at 5 a.m.
That is a significant change for a president who used to speak regularly late into the night while drinking cup after cup of coffee.
"I've become a cadet once again, and I see the sunrise," Chavez said. "I had forgotten the sunrises. It had been a long time since I had seen a sunrise."


Updated : 2021-04-17 11:21 GMT+08:00