Brace yourself. This news is as newsy and shocking as it gets: Hugo Chávez is running for president... again.
The Venezuelan comandante has been in office for 12 years and has said he plans to stay there -- elections willing -- for another decade. But Chávez made his plans for 2012 official yesterday, promising that "there is no turning back" for his Bolivarian Revolution.
Chávez also took the opportunity to threaten Guillermo Zuloaga -- the head of opposition TV station Globovisión and Miami resident-- with expropriation of his assets if he doesn't return to Venezuela to face charges of "usury."
Chávez's political party won 98 of 165 seats in the National Assembly on September 26 despite narrowly losing the popular vote. But that election, heralded as a show of force by the opposition, hasn't deterred the president from running again.
"You will decide if this soldier stays at the front of the revolution or you will allow the bourgeoisie to spoil the dreams of the people," Chávez told a crowd of supporters on Sunday.
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He also once again singled out Zuloaga -- who has taken refuge in Miami -- for criticism. "He's on the run, and goes to Washington to say whatever he feels like," Chávez said, referring to Zuloaga's appearance last week at a Congressional event entitled "Danger in the Andes: Threats to Democracy, Human Rights, and Inter-American Security."
"Either this guy appears here (in Venezuela) or there will have to be action taken against his businesses, among them a television channel," Chávez told supporters as they shouted "Expropriation," according to AFP.
On Saturday, Chávez accused Zuloaga of helping to finance a $100 assassination plot against the Venezuelan president.
"He's going around conspiring against the government, and they're all collecting money to pay the person who kills me," Chávez told reporters at a socialist fair in Caracas.