Chavez says his revolution will remain in Venezuela

February 5th, 2009 - 12:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Caracas, Feb 5 (IANS) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who completed 10 years in office two days ago, has said his ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ has entered a new phase and will continue to remain forever, EFE news agency reported Thursday. “The Bolivarian Revolution is here to stay,” Chavez said while inaugurating a military parade here to commemorate the failed coup he headed on Feb 4, 1992.

The former army paratrooper, who styles himself the builder of 21st century socialism, says the day he headed the failed coup against former president Carlos Andres Perez had given birth to his revolution which he has been heading for last 10 years.

The parade, which he named ‘Dignity Parade’ was organised at the Maracay air force barracks, some 120 km west of Caracas, where he mounted the putsch 17 years ago.

Chavez’s public acknowledgement of the coup’s failure constituted the launching of his political life. Later, he won the presidency for the first time in 1998.

The Venezuelan leader, who decreed that Feb 4 would henceforth be celebrated as National Dignity Day, is pushing for a constitutional amendment to eliminate term limits for elected officials, a measure that will be put to a nationwide referendum on Feb 15.

If approved, the leftist leader would be able to run in 2012 for another six-year term, something he has claimed is imperative to give his so called revolution a chance to survive.

An earlier attempt by Chavez to remove limits to re-election as part of a broader constitutional overhaul was failed in a December 2007 referendum.

A fiery critic of US foreign policy, Chavez has already won three national elections and defeated a recall attempt, each time by a wide margin.

Government critics say that allowing unlimited re-election runs contrary to the principle of pluralism enshrined in the 1998 constitution.

Supporters of the change argue that nothing could be more democratic than letting voters decide how long the president and other officer holders should remain in their posts.

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