Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez Misses Swearing In


Hugo Chavez will miss his inauguration leading to speculation that he is gravely ill following cancer surgery in Cuba.  Although he probably dislikes “capitalist American doctors”, he probably would have been better cared for had he sought medical treatment in the US.  In a show of support for their ailing leader, Venezuelan lawmakers voted to postpone the inauguration until he is healthy enough to take the oath of office.  Opponents of the postponement have argued that the delay is a direct violation of the country’s constitution.  Since Chavez Congressional allies hold the majority of the seats, it was all but given that the delay would be approved.  If able, he will be sworn in at a later date before the Supreme Court.  Vice President, Nicolas Maduro said Chavez was invoking a provision in the Constitution that allows him to take the oath at a later date in front of the Supreme Court.  Opposition leader and the loser by eleven points in this past Presidential election, Henrique Capriles said he saw no reason to bring a formal challenge to the Supreme Court because it was obliged to rule on the matter.  “The Supreme Court has to take a position on what the text of the constitution says,” said Capriles, “There is no monarchy here, and we aren’t in Cuba.”  While adamant about the Supreme Court ruling on the issue, Capriles also said that “Anarchy isn’t good for anybody, and a conflict in the country isn’t good for anybody.”  There is little question the Supreme Court will rule in Chavez’ favor and if able, will be sworn in by the Court.  The real question now is, how serious is his condition and will he ever be able to take the oath of office.

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