Tue, Feb 15, 2011 - Page 7 News List

Chavez claims there’s no end to socialist revolution

AP, CARACAS

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that he has no intention of ceasing his efforts to make Venezuela a socialist country, and he expressed confidence that his allies would take the reins of his “Bolivarian Revolution” if he died or decided to step down.

“There’s no end here, this is going to continue,” said Chavez, referring to the political movement he named after 19th-century independence hero Simon Bolivar.

Chavez said his close confidants would undoubtedly assume power and continue his efforts to steer the country toward socialism if he were to die or retire from politics.

“I don’t fear death,” Chavez said during an interview broadcast on the local Televen television channel, adding that he believed a younger generation of -revolutionary-minded allies would persevere in Venezuela’s ongoing political tug-of-war.

Critics ranging from -opposition leaders to representatives of the Roman Catholic Church claim Chavez has become increasingly authoritarian and poses a threat to Venezuela’s democracy by aspiring to cling to power for decades to come.

Chavez scoffed at such suggestions on Sunday, saying that some of his most outspoken critics have unfairly compared him to former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who stepped down and turned over the government to the military last week.

“I laugh when some sagacious analysts from Venezuela’s opposition compare my government to that of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. That was a dictatorship,” he said.

Chavez vowed to win Venezuela’s next presidential election next year.

“If they don’t kill me or if some kind of catastrophe does not occur, I’m sure — there will be much work to be done — that I’ll be re-elected for six more years,” Chavez said.

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