Girish Gupta

HOME

BY COUNTRY

Brazil
Colombia
Cuba
Ecuador
Egypt
Guyana
Iraq
Jordan
Lebanon
Mexico
United Kingdom
Venezuela

BY MEDIUM

Text
Photo
Radio
TV/Video

BY PUBLISHER

Al Jazeera
BBC
BuzzFeed
CBC
Christian Science Monitor
CNN
Daily Mail
Datum
Ecologist
Economist Intelligence Unit
Emerging Markets
Financial Times
Foreign Policy
France 24
Fusion
GlobalPost
Guardian
Independent
La Prensa (Panama)
LatinFinance
Mancunion
Monocle
National (Abu Dhabi)
New Internationalist
New Statesman
New York Times
New Yorker
NPR
PBS
PRI
Radio France Internationale
Reuters
RTE
Sky News
Sun
Sunday Times
Telegraph
TIME
Times of London
USA Today
Vice
WLRN

ABOUT

About
CV
Contact (PGP Key)

Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Venezuelan opposition protests ailing Chávez's absence
Jan. 12, 2013 — Caracas, Venezuela

Published by USA Today

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's no-show at his inauguration fueled a protest Saturday after opposition leaders said the decision invalidated the ailing leader's new six-year term.

"We have no president right now," said Mary Para, a 55-year-old teacher attending the protest. "We don't know if Chávez is dead or alive. In his place we have a man who was chosen by nobody. ... We're here fighting for the constitution."

The lack of any proof of life from Chávez, as well as his naming of Vice President Nicolas Maduro as his successor, is raising concerns that Chávez's 14-year tenure in Venezuela may be coming to an end.

"They ought to send a medical board to Havana to confirm whether Chávez is able to govern this country," said Daniella Contreras, a 22-year-old student at the back of the crowd.

The opposition is calling for elections to be held within 30 days, as decreed by the constitution, but Maduro has called the Jan. 10 inauguration date a "formality." That view was backed by the country's Supreme Court earlier this week in a ruling that opponents say will be challenged in a regional human rights court.

The case is being prepared by a group of lawyers for the opposition coalition, said Gerardo Blyde, a lawyer and opposition politician. He said Saturday that it's not yet clear when the case would be brought before the Costa Rica-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Demonstrations could be held again on Jan. 23, when the opposition is planning to take to the streets on the anniversary of the fall of the country's last dictator, Marcos Pérez Jiménez, in 1958.

"I don't know who the president is right now," said Roberto Rodriguez, 49, a street cleaner watching from the back of the square. "Things need to change."

The self-styled socialist has not been heard from since Dec. 11, when he went through a fourth operation in Havana, Cuba, to treat the cancer that has plagued him for more than 18 months.

The six-hour operation was followed by unexpected bleeding and a pulmonary infection, according to a tight-lipped government that has failed to reveal the type of cancer the 58-year-old president has.

Should Chávez die or be permanently unable to take power, Maduro would face off with an opposition candidate, likely Henrique Capriles Radonski, the 40-year-old governor who lost to Chávez in October's presidential elections.

Capriles has been fairly moderate in his criticism of the government, keen not to alienate Chávez supporters should he have the chance to run again. However, his running mate Leopoldo López spoke to the crowd in Caracas' Plaza Brión.

"We won't remain passive," López shouted to the crowd. "We'll go out into the streets and we'll stay in the streets."

The opposition protest was dwarfed by Thursday's inauguration celebrations in which tens of thousands of red-clad Chávez supporters turned up outside Caracas' Miraflores presidential palace.

Filed from
Caracas, Venezuela






More...

Exclusive: Venezuela holds 5,000 Russian surface-to-air MANPADS missiles
May. 22, 2017


Venezuelan opposition activists march to Leopoldo Lopez' jail
Apr. 28, 2017


Venezuela says inflation 274 percent last year, economists say far higher
Apr. 20, 2017


Venezuelan protests against government leave three dead
Apr. 19, 2017


Venezuelans return to streets, roused by ban on opposition leader
Apr. 8, 2017


Venezuelan opposition, security forces clash in anti-Maduro protests
Apr. 6, 2017


Venezuela security forces battle anti-Maduro protesters
Apr. 4, 2017


Venezuela money supply up 200 pct in year, fastest rise on record
Apr. 3, 2017


Amid protests, Venezuela's Maduro seeks to defuse court row
Mar. 31, 2017


Venezuela begins republishing key economic indicator after hiatus
Mar. 23, 2017


Crisis-hit Venezuela halts publication of another major indicator
Mar. 21, 2017


Back in Venezuela, 'world's worst skier' proud of his performance
Feb. 26, 2017


Some poor Venezuelan parents give away children amid deep crisis
Dec. 15, 2016


Desperate to dump soon-worthless cash, Venezuelans flock to banks
Dec. 13, 2016


Inflation-hit Venezuela to pull largest bill from circulation
Dec. 11, 2016








© Girish Gupta