Archive for January 5th, 2013

Death of Hugo Chavez could set off shock waves across region

| January 5th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Telegraph

BY PHILIP SHERWELL

The orchestra played and loyal lawmakers erupted in adulatory applause as Hugo Chavez invoked Fidel Castro and Jesus Christ as his revolutionary role models.

His right hand raised, the fiery Venezuelan leader echoed the famous call to arms of his Cuban mentor. “Fatherland, socialism or death,” he proclaimed, then added with a typical flourish: “I swear by Christ, the greatest socialist in history.” That was six years ago as “El Commandante” was sworn in for his third term as president and blew kisses to rose petal-tossing crowds when he returned in an open-topped car to his palace to watch a military parade.

On Thursday, the ideologue – who has used his country’s oil riches to bankroll left-wing bed-fellows across Latin America, forged a cosy alliance with Iran and assailed the US from its back yard – is due to be celebrating his next inauguration.

But there will be no joyous scenes. ... Read More

Chavez to Stay in Power Even Without Taking Oath, VP Says

| January 5th, 2013 | No Comments »

BY CHARLIE DEVEREUX & JOSE OROZCO

Ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will remain in power even if he fails to attend a ceremony next week in which he’s scheduled to be sworn in for another term, his Vice President Nicolas Maduro said.

Opponents of the socialist president, who is recovering from cancer surgery in Cuba, are distorting the constitution by saying that Chavez must show up for the Jan. 10 swearing-in ceremony or be declared ineligible to govern, Maduro said last night. The nation’s charter is flexible, and if needed the Supreme Court can set the date, manner and location Chavez will be sworn in for the third, six-year term he won in October by a landslide, he said.

“Chavez on that day remains in power and will be sworn in whenever possible,” Maduro said in an hour-long interview broadcast on state television, warning the opposition against trying to carry out a “coup” by interpreting to its advantage the ... Read More