Chavez Struggles to Recover
Reports suggesting he's progressing.
by Stephen Lendman
A previous article said major surgery for any reason is daunting. Four times for the same illness in 18 months present special challenges.
Chavez struggles to recover. He hopes he's cancer free. He's undergoing difficult post-operative procedures. Reports suggest he's proceeding on track. Internal bleeding and respiratory infection problems were corrected. More on his current status below.
It's unclear if he'll return in time for his January 10 inauguration. A previous article said under Venezuelan 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.
"Between pending election and inauguration, the Executive Vice President shall assume the Presidency."
"If permanent unavailability occurs during his last two years, the Executive Vice President shall complete the term of office."
Article 234 states:
"A President of the Republic who becomes temporarily unavailable to serve shall be replaced by the Executive Vice President for a period of up to 90 days, which may be extended by resolution of the National Assembly for an additional 90 days."
"If the temporarily unavailability continues for more than 90 consecutive days, the National Assembly shall have the power to decide by a majority vote of its members whether the unavailability to serve should be considered permanent."
Under Article 235, "The absence of the President of the Republic from the territory of Venezuela requires authorization from the National Assembly or the Delegated Committee, when such absence continues for a period exceeding five consecutive days."
Chavez may need more recovery time. Aides want swearing-in postponed. Venezuelans overwhelmingly elected him. If able, they want him to serve. Constitutional interpretation has wiggle room.