Venezuelan VP heads for Cuba to meet with President Chávez
Minister of Electric Power Héctor Navarro will stand in for Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro
Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolás Maduro reported on Friday night that he was leaving for Havana, Cuba, to visit Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who is recovering from a surgery some weeks ago.
"I will depart for Havana, Cuba, to visit Commander Chávez along with a team of the Bolivarian government," he advised during the sworn-in ceremony of Carlos Mata Figueroa, the new Nueva Esparta state governor. The event was aired by state-run TV channel Venezolana de Televisión, state-owned news agency Agencia Venezolana de Noticias (AVN) quoted.
Maduro said that Minister of Electric Power Héctor Navarro will be the second in command in his absence.
During his speech in Nueva Esparta, the senior officer promised "supreme loyalty to Commander Hugo Chávez and Bolívar's people."
He also urged the forces of ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) to join efforts to solve current problems and ensure Venezuelans' wellbeing.
"If we are to consolidate the homeland, then, every day we need to stand up, taking a stance of change, self-criticism, humbleness and solidarity."
President Nicolás Maduro is not only the heir to the throne, but also to an economic crisis which demanded urgent measures to rectify the course. The crisis showed up in two aspects: a 50% inflation estimate, and shortage of staples ranging between 70% and 98%. These issues might hit the President's poor popularity; considering his feeble electoral victory of 1% over his challenger.