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Chavez will run in 2012 vote: aide

CARACAS (AP) ― An aide to Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez said Monday that there is no doubt the president will run for re-election next year despite his struggle with cancer.

The remark by Finance Minister Jorge Giordani came as Chavez was in Cuba undergoing cancer treatment.

“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.

Chavez has not been seen on television since he arrived in Cuba on Saturday night. He said before leaving that he expected to begin chemotherapy Sunday.

The 56-year-old president, 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.

Two messages were posted on Chavez’s Twitter account Monday, including one urging supporters to tune in to Giordani’s interview.

An earlier message read: “Good morning beautiful Venezuela!! From here, ready for another day of battle for life. We will live and we will be victorious!”

Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba on June 20 to remove a cancerous tumor, 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.
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