Power leakage intensifies in Venezuela
While Chavez edges closer to decomposing, Maduro quickly ripens. (For non-Spanish speakers: "maduro" means "ripe").
And there are rumors that Chavez could be sworn in as president in Havana if he is still too frail to show up in Caracas on January 10. Viva Cubazuela!
Chávez hands economy to vice-president
Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s president, has entrusted all economic responsibilities to his vice-president while he recovers from his latest cancer surgery.
According to the Official Gazette, a government law journal, published online on Wednesday, President Chávez delegated the powers to Nicolas Maduro, vice-president, just days before travelling to Cuba for his December 11 operation.
The move empowers Mr Maduro, whom Mr Chávez endorsed as his successor earlier this month, to make changes to the national budget, issue debt and expropriate properties.
“The measure is surprising in the sense that the president is due to be sworn in [for another six-year term as president] on January 10, so he shouldn’t be delegating powers two weeks before the inauguration,” said Ronald Balza, an economics professor at the Central University of Venezuela and Andrés Bello Catholic University.
“The [transfer of power] recognises that the president’s health isn’t improving quickly,” he added. “There are economic measures that he [Mr Chávez] thinks that should be taken, but can’t do it himself.”
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