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.
A shipment of over 30,000 tons of phosphate arrived at Puerto Cabello port in late July on board the Shi Long Ling, a Chinese-flagged vessel that began its long journey in northern Africa. The cargo boat docked on July 26 after traveling more than 3,200 nautical miles. Undoubtedly, this would just be considered one in many cargo ships crisscrossing the oceans if it were not for the fact that Venezuela has denounced Western Sahara occupation by Morocco and yet purchases the territory's natural resource products from the occupying power.