According to VP Maduro, Chávez appointed Elías Jaua as Foreign Minister
Vice-president submitted annual report to the Congress, but delivered no address
Almost at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolás Maduro went up to the rostrum of the National Assembly (AN). The annual briefing, set forth in the Constitution, on political, economic, social and administrative issues during 2012 were expected. However, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs clarified that he would give "a note of information."
Seven minutes sufficed for him to inform that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez "is going up the hill;" deny that he is at odds with Congress Speaker Diosdado Cabello; verify that his appearance on Tuesday at the AN "faultless" complied with the Constitution, and notify that President Chávez had appointed ex Minister of Lands, former Executive Vice-President and ex candidate running for Miranda state governor as his seventh Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice-President for Political Affairs.
Maduro clarified that they were acting in accordance with Article 237 of the Constitution, under which, within the first 10 days following the establishment of the AN, the Venezuelan president should introduce his annual report of the previous year.
He claimed to have met on Monday with Chávez, who sent his regards to congresspersons.
For his part, the new Foreign Minister received congratulation calls from his counterparts of Brazil Antonio Patriota, and Ecuador, Ricardo Patiño, following the news of his designation, AVN cited.
In a communiqué from the Foreign Office, Jaua expressed gratitude for the support and reported that he would "hold in the next few days, meetings with counterparts of Colombia and Ecuador."
Three Venezuelans and five Trinidadians will stand trial on January 26 under the suspicion of being involved in alleged Muslim terrorist activities in Venezuela. After nine months in prison, the defendants will appear in court to face charges of terrorism brought against them by the Attorney General Office.