Hugo Chavez certainly isn't helping the notion that he's not some sort of brutal dictator. We mean, how many non-dictators declare they hope to continue ruling their country for at least 20 more years? A cancer-stricken Chavez celebrated his 57th birthday yesterday and told the crowd he hoped to remain President at least until his 77th birthday.
"I invite you all to celebrate my 77th," Chavez told a crowd from the balcony of his presidential palace. "I had said I'd leave in 2021. Well, I'm not going away in 2021 or anything. Maybe in 2031."
Of course, Chavez seems to have maters of mortality and death on his mind. Last month, he mysteriously disappeared to Cuba where he underwent surgery to remove a baseball-sized tumor and will now undergo chemotherapy treatment. He expects to look like Yule Brenner after the chemo, by the way.
Chavez wants the prospect of death off his mind so much that he's removed the very word from a military slogan:
Chavez, who was jailed in 1992 for leading a failed coup after serving as a paratrooper and tank commander, called on his government to change a military slogan that he promoted from "Fatherland, Socialism or Death," to "Fatherland, Socialism or Victory. We will live and conquer."
"Here there won't be any death," Chavez, who was dressed in a bright yellow shirt in place of his normal olive green jacket and red shirt, said. "We can't choose between victory and death, we must live and conquer."
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Chavez will next be up for election next year and told the crowd he expects to win.
"Next year, we will win the presidential elections once again! Strength, unity!" he said. Setting a goal he has never before reached, he said: "We're going for 10 million votes next year!"