By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, has won Venezuela's presidential election by a stunningly narrow margin that highlights rising discontent over problems ranging from crime to power blackouts. His rival demanded a recount, portending more headaches for a country shaken by the death of its dominating leader.
Hugo Chavez's death could very well result in an uncertain and unstable succession battle that will define Venezuela's future for better or worse. With that country one of the world's largest exporters of crude oil and the fourth-largest supplier of crude oil and petroleum products to the United States, the Obama administration needs to get active in helping to shape events in a positive direction.
More than a decade's worth of Hugo Chavez gutting his country's democratic institutions and centralizing power in his person has led to the present turmoil in Venezuela, where just who is the country's constitutional leader is no longer clear.
President Hugo Chavez won't be able to attend his scheduled swearing-in Thursday, Venezuela's government announced Tuesday, confirming suspicions that the leader's illness will keep him in a Cuban hospital past the key date.
President Hugo Chavez is due to be sworn in for a new term in less than a week, and his closest allies still aren't saying what they plan to do if the ailing leader is unable to return from a Cuban hospital to take the oath of office.
"When? It doesn't say. Where? It doesn't say where," Mr. Cabello recently told a crowd of government supporters.
Mr. Cabello noted last month that the constitution says if a president is unable to be sworn in by the legislature, he may be sworn in by Supreme Court justices, who were appointed by the mostly pro-Chavez legislature.