BY FABIO RAFAEL FIALLO
With Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez unable to attend the inauguration ceremony marking his sixth term of office, attention quickly shifted to whether the relevant constitutional clause granting presidential powers to the president of the National Assembly — in this case Diosdado Cabello — would be honored within 90 days. In a fanciful interpretation of the constitution, however, the Supreme Court decided otherwise. It granted Mr. Chavez the right to an indefinite absence and charged Vice President Nicolas Maduro with the task of governing Venezuela on Mr. Chavez’s behalf.
Now that the legalist debate is left behind, a hardly-hidden, protracted power struggle is bound to come to the forefront of Venezuelan politics with renewed vigor. The struggle involves two major factions: The first group, led by Vice President Maduro, embodies the doctrinaire wing of Chavism and has the blessing and support of the Castro brothers, whose influence on Chavez and his ... Read More