- Title: VENEZUELA: Thousands rally to mark coup attempt anniversary
- Date: 4th February 2013
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (FEBRUARY 04, 2013) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SOLDIERS AT THE CIPRIANO CASTRO BARRACKS VENEZUELAN VICE PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO, NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CHIEF DIOSDADO CABELLO AND DEFENCE MINISTER DIEGO MORELO DURING CELEBRATIONS SOLDIERS SINGING THE VENEZUELAN NATIONAL ANTHEM MADURO SINGING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM CABELLO SINGING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM MADURO, CABELLO AND MORELO SINGING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM A PICTURE OF VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ FROM THE 1992 COUP ATTEMPT (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CHIEF DIOSDADO CABELLO, SAYING: "I should say to you all that the commander is on the path of his recovery, improving every day, signing what we take to him, giving instructions and orders, concerned for the people and he sends all of you, from Havana, an embrace and eternal thanks for all the love shown for Commander Chavez." MADURO AND MORELO APPLAUDING VARIOUS OF MILITARY HONOURS MADURO PREPARING TO SPEAK SOLDIERS HOLDING RIFLES (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VICE PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO SAYING: "He (Chavez) served his time. He did not come out and say 'it wasn't me, it wasn't me, it wasn't me' like the oligarchs do. These people think they can run the country (referring to the opposition), they will never run the country, you will never return to power." SOLDIERS AT THE EVENT VARIOUS OF PEOPLE AT RALLY TO MARK THE 21ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE COUP ATTEMPT
- Embargoed: 19th February 2013 12:00
- Location: Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: General,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA5EP945U15WMMOGCW5VZ4DDMW
- Story Text: Thousands of supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez spilled into the streets on Monday (February 04) to celebrate the anniversary of the 1992 failed coup attempt led by Chavez, which solidified him as a revolutionary leader in the OPEC nation.
Some soldiers gathered at the Cipriano Castro barracks where Chavez, then a lieutenant colonel, stayed leading up to the February 4, 1992 coup.
The rally also featured Vice President Nicolas Maduro, National Assembly chief Diosdado Cabello and Defence Minister Diego Morelo.
During his address, Cabello said Chavez was improving after his fourth cancer surgery.
"I should say to you all that the commander is on the path of his recovery, improving every day, signing what we take to him, giving instructions and orders, concerned for the people and he sends all of you, from Havana, an embrace and eternal thanks for all the love shown for Commander Chavez," Cabello said.
Rallies were held in Caracas and in Havana, Cuba, where the ailing leader remains hospitalised following cancer surgery there in December.
In the Venezuelan capital, Chavez supporters danced, waved Venezuelan flags and displayed posters and banners depicting the fiery leader as they marked the 21st anniversary of the February 4, 1992 attempted overthrow of then-President Carlos Andres Perez.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro told opposition groups they would "never" return to power.
"He (Chavez) served his time. He did not come out and say 'it wasn't me, it wasn't me, it wasn't me' like the oligarchs do. These people think they can run the country (referring to the opposition), they will never run the country, you will never return to power," Maduro said during his speech.
Though Chavez failed to remove the unpopular president from power, the effort launched Chavez's political career.
After being jailed for the coup attempt, Chavez was pardoned by newly elected President Rafael Caldera. After his release, Chavez toured the country and won a 1998 election that led him to take office early the following year.
February 4 has been commemorated every year since and is recognised as one of the pillars of the "Bolivarian Revolution" led by Chavez.
The socialist leader, however, has not been seen or heard from in public since the December 11 surgery in Cuba, his fourth operation for a cancer first detected in the pelvic area in June 2011.
Recent government reports have indicated the leader, who has been in power for 14 years, is steadily recovering.
Supporters in Caracas held a number of mass rallies in different points of the city, many of them culminating in the historic city centre, not far from the Miraflores presidential palace.
Despite complications after the operation, officials have been more optimistic about Chavez's state in the past few weeks, suggesting he was over the worst of the recovery period and may come home soon.
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