Diosdado Cabello sworn in as speaker of the National Assembly
"As a fellow countryman of the beautiful Venezuelan people, I swear that I shall fully comply with my duties and faithfully defend the homeland and this beautiful revolution led by Hugo Chávez," said Diosdado Cabello when sworn in, adding that "Chávez is and will continue to be the President of Republic beyond January 10"
He was sworn by top representatives of the People's Power.
"As a fellow countryman of the beautiful Venezuelan people, I swear that I shall fully comply with my duties and faithfully defend the homeland and this beautiful revolution led by Hugo Chávez," he said when sworn in by Reina Lucero, a singer and representative of the people's power.
Deputy Blanca Eeckhout (PSUV) was elected as the second vice-president of the National Assembly. During her swearing-in she reminded the delicate health status of President Chávez, and stressed that the Venezuelan people is loyal to Chávez's revolution.
Further, Darío Vivas (PSUV) was sworn in as the first vice-president of the legislature.
Meanwhile, Iván Zerpa and Víctor Clark were ratified in their positions as clerk and under-clerk of the National Assembly, respectively.
Following the swearing-in ceremony, a chaplain of the Catholic Church offered a prayer for the health of Chávez.
In a brief speech, Cabello stressed that the Venezuelan Constitution would not be breached on January 10. "Chávez is and will continue to be the President of Republic beyond January 10."
"Make no mistake: we will enforce both the Constitution and people's will," said the speaker of the National Assembly, adding that Chávez's followers "are more united than ever."
The new board of the Venezuelan Parliament was elected by a majority of the PSUV, while the opposition parliamentarians abstained from voting.
The session was attended, among others, by Vice-President Nicolás Maduro, ministers and the newly-elected 20 governors of the PSUV.
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.