Foe alleges conflict brewing between Chavez alliesBy CHRISTOPHER TOOTHAKER
The Associated Press | January 07,2013CARACAS, Venezuela — An opponent of Hugo Chavez alleged Sunday that conflicts are brewing within Venezuela’s ruling party and argued that alleged differences between the president’s close confidants have prompted them to postpone the socialist leader’s inauguration.
Opposition lawmaker Julio Borges told a news conference Sunday that a rivalry between Vice President Nicolas Maduro and National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello was behind the postponement of Chavez’s Jan. 10 swearing-in ceremony. Chavez has not been able to return to Venezuela from Cuba following a Dec. 11 operation, his fourth surgery for an undisclosed type of pelvic cancer.
“While the president is sick in Havana, they have a power conflict,” Borges said. “That’s why they are engendering this violation of the constitution.”
The Venezuelan Constitution states the presidential oath should be taken before lawmakers in the National Assembly. But it says the president may also take the oath before the Supreme Court if the president is unable to be sworn in before the assembly.
The government revealed last week that Chavez is fighting a severe lung infection and receiving treatment for “respiratory deficiency.”
There have been no public signs of friction between Maduro and Cabello, who appeared side by side waving to supporters after a legislative session on Saturday. The two men have repeatedly rejected speculation they are at odds and have vowed to remain united.
“Come here, Nicolas. You’re my brother, friend. They don’t understand that,” Cabello said, hugging Maduro before the crowd outside the assembly.
Borges, however, alleged that the two men were putting on a show.
“That big hug between Nicolas Maduro and Diosdado Cabello was set up to reflect unity that does not exist,” he said.
In a communique posted Sunday on Twitter, former vice president and prominent ruling party member Elias Jaua stressed the need to work together.
“We are obligated ... to remain united in this and any other situation,” Jaua wrote.
Earlier Sunday, Venezuelan athletes who support Chavez prayed for the socialist leader’s recovery.
Formula One driver Pastor Maldonado, IndyCar Series driver Ernesto Jose Viso and others attended a Mass at a church in downtown Caracas. Athletes wearing jackets with the colors and stars of Venezuela’s flag stood before an altar, solemnly reciting prayers.
Maldonado, who is sponsored by Venezuela’s state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, expressed confidence that Chavez would soon recover and return to Venezuela.
The F1 driver voiced hope that “very soon he’s here with all of us.”
Viso said he and millions of other Chavez supporters have “much faith that he’s recovering.”
“We wish him the best,” Viso said.MORE IN Wire NewsSAN FRANCISCO — A long legal battle over accusations that a prominent Silicon Valley venture... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.