President Chávez not to attend swearing-in ceremony on January 10
Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro said in a communiqué that President Hugo Chávez is recovering from his fourth operation for cancer, so he cannot attend his swearing-in ceremony next January 10
Maduro said in the letter that Chávez's medical staff ordered to extend his post-operative recovery period. He added that the Head of State requested him to inform Venezuelans about his current situation.
The inauguration, which marks the beginning of Chávez's fourth term in office, will have to be postponed, following the medical decision to extend Chávez's rest.
The communiqué noted that Chávez's medical condition is an "irrefutable supervening reason. Therefore, enforcement of Article 231 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is invoked, in order to arrange the corresponding swearing-in later, before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice."
The Venezuelan president is under medical observation in Havana, Cuba, after undergoing his fourth surgery for cancer on December 10.
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.