CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez’s inner circle has not discussed who should succeed him if his health prevents him from running in October’s presidential elections, Vice President Elias Jose Jaua Milano said in an interview published Sunday.
“There is very strong policy unity on the goals of the revolution, and the role each of us plays,” Mr. Jaua Milano told the daily Ultimas Noticias. “One of the cornerstones of that unity is that none of us wants to be the successor, nor is anybody betting on it.
“We do not talk about that. And why would we, when the president is on the path to full recovery in terms of his health?” Mr. Jaua Milano said when he was mentioned as a potential successor along with Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro.
Last week, Mr. Chavez, 57, registered as a candidate for re-election in the Oct. 7 vote despite a yearlong battle with cancer and uncertainties about his health.
“As a player in the political game, I have come here and I commit, before Venezuela and the world, to recognize the outcome of the presidential election” Mr. Chavez said.
If he were to be re-elected and serve out his term through 2019, Mr. Chavez would end up spending 20 years in office.
He is running against Henrique Capriles, 39 the youthful Miranda state governor and center-left candidate for a united opposition. Mr. Capriles has laid out a policy platform focused on combating violence, creating jobs and boosting social programs.
Mr. Chavez has been leading in the polls by between 7 and 30 percentage points, with 35 percent of voters undecided.
Chilean soldier dies in Haiti after assault
SANTIAGO — A Chilean soldier who worked at the Embassy of Chile in Haiti died there Sunday after being shot by unidentified assailants, authorities said.
“The officer was assaulted by strangers, and he received four bullet wounds in his abdomen and arm. Due to these injuries, he was taken to Lambert Sante Hospital, where he died at 5:45 a.m.,” the Chilean Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The incident took place outside a restaurant in the Petionville suburb of Port-au-Prince, and is being investigated by Haitian police.
The body of the sergeant, who served as the assistant defense attache at the Chilean Embassy, will be repatriated once the necessary paperwork has been completed.