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Hugo Chavez turns 58 on the campaign trail

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez celebrated his 58th birthday at a re-election campaign rally Saturday, complete with a rendition of "Happy Birthday" from supporters.

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President Hugo Chavez speaks after receiving a Brazilian delegation in the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas on July 25, 2012. (AFP/Getty Images)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez celebrated his 58th birthday at a re-election campaign rally Saturday, complete with a rendition of "Happy Birthday" from supporters.

The South American president rode atop a truck and waved to crowds of supporters in Caracas's Petare slum, reported the Associated Press. He even took to the stage, hugging and kissing two of his daughters and singing and dancing alongside a band.

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"I want to thank everybody for the messages I've been getting... Well, I made it to 58," the AP said Chavez told reporters, adding that Cuban President Raul Castro had called him, and that he had also heard from his allies in Bolivia and Nicaragua.

Though Chavez's health has been questionable since a bout with an undisclosed form of cancer, he appeared vigorous at Saturday's event, according to Fox News. The Venezuelan president declared himself cancer-free earlier this month, after months of treatments and speculation about whether or not he would be able to campaign.

Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles also spoke at an event on Saturday east of Caracas in Guarenas, reported the Press Association. He accused Chavez's government of wasting money that could have been spent on schools and roads that are in bad shape. Capriles also said there is a hospital that has been in construction for years and called it a "monument to corruption."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/venezuela/120729/hugo-chavez-turns-58-the-campaign-trail