US expects gov't transition in Venezuela "pursuant to the Constitution"
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a press conference that "in the event that he (Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez) is unable to perform his functions, we would like to see a transition pursuant to the Constitution"
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a press conference that "in the event that he (Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez) is unable to perform his functions, we would like to see a transition pursuant to the Constitution," AP reported.
The United States adopted its position just days after the Speaker of the Venezuelan National Assembly, deputy Diosdado Cabello, a top member of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), hinted the adjournment of Chávez's inauguration date for his fourth term, which according to the Constitution is scheduled for January 10.
However, some lawyers and opponents argue that the swearing-in date cannot be deferred. The Constitution, they claim, provides that in the event that the president-elect cannot be sworn in, the Speaker of the National Assembly must take power and convene a presidential vote within 30 days.
Chávez has not been seen or listened to since on Dec. 11 when he underwent his fourth surgery for cancer in 18 months. Since then, Venezuelan authorities have reported a series of ups and downs in his recovery. On Sunday night, Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro announced that President Chávez was in a "delicate" state of health due to a respiratory infection.
Nuland said Washington also hoped that if a presidential election is held, the vote is "transparent, democratic, free and fair, including the atmosphere surrounding the election.''
The spokeswoman said the US would "judge their ability to improve relations with Venezuela based on the steps that they may take.''
That political protest in Venezuela has lost momentum seems pretty obvious: people are no longer building barricades to block off streets near Plaza Francia in Altamira (eastern Caracas), an anti-government stronghold; no new images have been shown of brave and dashing protesters with bandanna-covered faces clashing with the National Guard in San Cristóbal, in the western state of Táchira; and those who dreamed of a horde of "Gochos" (Tachirans) descending in an avalanche to stir up revolt in Caracas have been left with no option but to wake up to reality.