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
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.