Former justices: Maduro is the acting head of State
Former Venezuelan magistrates asserted that in fact Chávez delegated his powers
"This time is different from what has happened before. The president considered a scenario in which he may end up being physically or mentally unable to be in office. Thus, this time there are more reasons to believe that the Presidency is vacant and, therefore, Vice-President Maduro must fill that position," former justice of the Electoral Chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) José Peña Solís stated.
Similarly, a former magistrate and former president of the Academy of Political and Social Sciences, Román Duque Corredor, underscored, "The president said he would request permission to be absent for a few days. Automatically, a temporary substitution applies, accordingly. However, he admitted that his health conditions may prevent him from holding office. Therefore, he has admitted that he is physically unable to continue performing his duties."
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
The news marked an ominous beginning, health-wise, of the year 2015: the Cardiovascular Surgery Unit at Hospital Clínico Universitario, one of the country's largest teaching hospitals, was to close completely on January 5 due to lack of medicines and surgical supplies. All patients who were waiting to be operated on were sent home. More than 10 patients waiting for surgery reportedly died there from lack of basic medical supplies in the two months prior to the closure.