Venezuelans living around the world will be watching closely what happens in Caracas at midnight, my sources tell me. The country's constitution calls for the President to take the oath of office in a public ceremony by Jan. 10. If unable to do so, the nation's duly elected president is supposed to take the oath in front of the country's Congress. President Elect Hugo Chavez has done neither and, according to government sources, is recovering from cancer surgery in Cuba. The country's Supreme Court has ruled that as Chavez is simply continuing to serve as the nation's president after winning another six-year term late last year, he can simply be sworn in later. And a symbolic swearing in ceremony has been held. Chavez's political opponents and those concerned about the possibility of a constitutional crisis have suggested that a team of Venezuelan doctors should be sent to Cuba confirm that Chavez is still breathing and assess his health. Such a group can not visit Cuba without the Cuban government's expressed permission. Ernesto Ackerman, president of the Miami-based nonprofit Independent Venezuelan American Citizens, told me that Cuba has managed a bloodless coup today effectively turning Venezuela into a "colony firmly under communist control."
Now, the same media officials who have used intrusion into medical records as an ideological tool, defend the secrecy over Hugo Chavez's state of health.
A federal judge dealt a blow to what officials insist is one of New York City's most effective but also widely criticized crime-fighting tools. Stop and Frisk can't continue as is in the Bronx. As Barack Obama prepares for a second term the nation's first black President may be building a team of nearly all white and male cabinet officials and top-level staff leading some to make alarming comparisons between Obama and George W. Bush. A South Carolina Mexican Restaurant forces it's employees to advertise it's troubling brand of immigration enforcement -- on their uniforms. Let's just say there's an image of a taco and an allusion to a rat trap involved.
This January first, so dull and silent, is a sign that something isn't going well. Terminal exhaustion of a system? Fear before the possibility of losing the substantial Venezuelan subsidy? Or simply compassion for a dying man?
There are lots of reasons why China invests in authoritarian regimes. And if any of the world's toughest dictators passes away in 2013, we may be able to see how much China's financial investments pay off in political influence.
There's a holiday tradition in Venezuela where the president pardons a group of prisoners as an act of generosity. This year, as recently reelected President Hugo Chavez's cancer worsens, Vice President and acting President Nicolas Maduro has yet to act on this important tradition.
President Obama went too far in throwing gratuitous insults at President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela on Friday in an interview in Miami. By doing so, he not only offended the majority of Venezuelans, who voted to re-elect their president on October 7, but even many who did not.
The rate of abstention reflects the depressed mood of many voters following the October election. The machinations of the regime, and most of all the lack of clear information about Chavez's health woes, has generated a crisis of trust that will not be easily repaired.
Amid questions surrounding his health, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez named Vice President Nicolás Maduro as his successor. Here are six major things to watch in the next few months.
After much speculation, President Hugo Chávez announced that he now had a person in mind to succeed him -- Nicolás Maduro, the minister of foreign affairs who was elevated to vice president in October. So who is Maduro, and will he ever command the loyalty of chavistas?
Time will guide what happens next, but for now Hugo Chavez's impending demise is a political tsunami that will lap the shores of almost every country in the region. It will effectively signal the end of an era. The question remains, "To whom will South America belong after Chavez?"
Sir, Yesterday, as Minister of Defense, and previously as Commander of the Venezuelan Navy, you made dangerous and irresponsible remarks of sufficien...
In his book The War of All the People , academic and Latin America-expert Jon Perdue carefully presents the case for why the United States should be worried about terrorism south of the border.
Not a single word filters out, not one doctor dares to bear witness, not one revelation escapes through the media. Nevertheless, there's a feeling of nervousness in the air.
The true picture of Venezuela today is the polar opposite of Chavez's fantasies. His regime has never looked so vulnerable and the opposition has never looked so strong. As we ready ourselves for the next set of challenges the December 16 elections are the next opportunity to remind the world that Chavez is far from invincible.
As part of an eight-member delegation from the National Lawyers Guild, we spent the week leading up to the October 7 Venezuelan presidential election in Caracas, learning about the electoral system that Jimmy Carter has called "the best in the world."