By Anderson Antunes | Forbes Since Hugo Chávez began undergoing cancer treatment in Cuba his ability to hold onto the reigns of his country has become the subject of worldwide speculation. But Chávez is adamant that it's too soon to write him off. He recently insisted he has no plans of leaving office until 2031. In an interview with pro-government daily newspaper Correo del Orinoco, Chávez claimed that his disease has never made him consider giving up the presidency. "I am determined to arrive at 2031," he said. Chávez even stated that he intends to complete a full "three terms with a golden decade," as he called the years between 2020 and 2030. "I have medical, scientific, human, loving and political reasons to remain in front of the government and the candidacy, stronger than ever." Chávez is running for re-election in 2012. Since taking office in 1999, his economic policies have been more socialistic than those of his predecessors. During the first four years of his administration (1999-2001), the economy grew at first, but then contracted from 2001-2003 to GDP levels similar to 1997, mostly due to a dip in oil prices. Another factor to the decline was foreign capitalists' wariness to invest in Venezuela. Venezuela's inflation rate has become the Achilles heel of Chávez' administration. Measured byconsumer price index, the rate was 35.8% in 1998, falling to a low of 12.5% in 2001 and rising to 31.1% in 2003. Historically, the highest yearly inflation was 99.9% in 1996. Now, Venezuela has the highest inflation rate in Latin America -- 32% (GDP per capita: $9,886). The country struggles as the only nation in the region that still remains in recession.