A Nation Mourns
by Stephen Lendman
Bolivarianism is institutionalized.
Venezuelans mourn their great loss. Visceral grief pervades the country. Chavez gave so much to so many. He cared. He showed it. He made a difference. He accomplished so much in 14 years.
The torch passes. On Friday, Nicolas Maduro was sworn in. He's acting president. New elections will follow in about 30 days. Maduro vowed to continue what Chavez began.
"I swear," he said, "in the absolute loyalty to the Commandante Hugo Chavez that we will obey and defend this Bolivarian Constitution with the hard hand of a people willing to be free. I swear."
"There you are, undefeated, pure, transparent, unique, true, alive forever." His voice cracked saying so.
"Mission accomplished comandante," he added! "The struggle goes on." It's vital. Chavez said "Time is short. If we do not change the world now, there may not be a 22nd century." Millions agree.
Chavez honored the "heroic memory of our peoples, of Guaicaipuro, our liberators, the largest of which (were) Simon BolÃvar, Ezequiel Zamora and his ragged army."
Maduro promised to comply with, enforce, and preserve Venezuela's Constitution. He'll fight "tirelessly though the work of our fellow comrade president and supreme leader of the Bolivarian Revolution to solidify more each day."
He received head of state emblems. He got the presidential sash. He accepted it with heavy heart, saying:
"Pardon our sorrow and tears, but this band belongs to Hugo Chavez. The presidency corresponds to" him. He wept saying so.
Venezuela's Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) said Maduro "ceases to exercise his previous (executive vice presidential) position." He's now acting "president in charge of the Republic."
Saying so conforms to constitutional law. Article 233 states:
"The President of the Republic shall become permanently unavailable to serve by reason of any of the following events: death; resignation; removal from office by decision of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice; permanent physical or mental disability certified by a medical board designated by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice with the approval of the National Assembly; abandonment of his position".and by recall by popular vote."
If the President is permanently unavailable to serve during his first four years, a new election will be held "by universal suffrage and direct ballot" within 30 days.