Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has appeared on the balcony of the presidential palace in Caracas to mark his 57th birthday. And this year there’s a special significance. Chavez has made two trips to Cuba for an operation to remove a tumour, and to have chemotherapy.
Looking well despite his recent illness, he told the crowd he plans to run for re-election next year.
The 57-year-old wants at least one more six-year term and often taunts foes that he will be in power for decades.
Parliamentary elections last September showed Venezuela to be split down the middle between Chavez supporters and opponents. It is thought the opposition coalition sense a chance to unseat the convalescing president at the ballot box next year.