Diosdado Cabello likely to retain Congress Speaker's gavel
International news agency Reuters said that Diosdado Cabello is the highest-profile military ally of Hugo Chávez in government. He presided over the National Assembly since early 2011, thus allowing him to strengthen the power and leadership he gained during more than a decade in various government posts
Under the Venezuelan Constitution, the National Assembly Speaker must take over the presidential office and call elections within 30 days if the president-elect is unable to take power on January 10. This seems the most likely scenario, as the date approaches and Chávez has not recovered, Reuters added.
After his fourth surgery, which he underwent in Cuba on December 11, Chávez suffered complications, including bleeding and an infection causing a respiratory failure.
Cabello is the highest-profile military ally of Hugo Chávez in government. He presided over the National Assembly since early 2011, thus allowing him to strengthen the power and leadership he gained during more than a decade in various government posts, including the vice-president's office and the Miranda state governor's office, among others.
Parliamentary sources told Reuters that the most likely scenario is that Cabello, who stood next to Chávez when he announced the recurrence of cancer last month, would be reelected as Congress Speaker, thus ensuring a smooth transition towards a new presidential vote.
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.