Hugo Chavez not at his own second inauguration in Caracas
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez who is gravely ill taking treatment for his recurring cancer and respiratory problem in Havana, Cuba is not in Caracas, Venezuela on Thursday, 10 January for his second inauguration as this South American nation's president.
This was his forth cancer surgery in less than two years, and hasn't been seen in public for more than three weeks.
Last week, Venezuela’s vice president, Nicolas Maduro, issued a statement intended to quash rumors about the president’s health and inform worried supporters about the ailing Chavez’s condition. Here’s what he said:
“We have been informed of new complications that have arisen as the result of a previously diagnosed respiratory infection. Yesterday we were aware of his situation and how he is responding to his medication. We met numerous times with his medical team and his family. Just a few minutes ago we were with President Chavez. He greeted us himself and talked about the complications.
"After 19 days after undergoing surgery, President Chavez state of health continues to be delicate with complications that are being attended to in a process that is not without risks. Thanks to his great physical and spiritual and strength, Commander Chavez is confronting this difficult challenge.
"We have decided to stay with Chavez in Havana for the next few hours attentive to how his actual situation develops.”
Chavez’s health problems have fueled political uncertainty and fears of outside meddling. He has been at the helm since 1999 and has been a thorn in the face of its powerful northern giant the United States.
In Caracas, government officials said Tuesday that the swearing-in would be postponed as the 58-year-old president is not fit to return to Caracas by Thursday.
“The commander president wants us to inform that, based on his medical team’s recommendations, the post-operative recovery should extend past January 10,” Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in a letter read to the country’s legislature.
No particular date has been announced, but the letter stated that Chavez will be sworn in before the Supreme Court instead of the legislature.
According to the Venezuelan Constitution, the presidential oath should be taken before lawmakers in the National Assembly on January 10, but the president may also take the oath before the Supreme Court if he or she is unable to be sworn in before the assembly. The constitution however does not specify what happens if the president does not take office on this particular date.
On Monday, the government said that Chavez was “stable” in a Cuban hospital receiving treatment for a severe respiratory infection. It added that he’s coping with “respiratory deficiency,” but did not specify the severity. Chavez has not appeared in public since undergoing his fourth cancer surgery on December 11.
The government’s characterization raised the possibility that Chavez might be breathing with the assistance of a machine. But the government did not give details of the president’s treatment.
- Asian Tribune -