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Venezuelan Opposition to Protest Court-Approved Delay of Chavez Swearing-in

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  • Cort Greene
    Venezuelan Opposition to Protest Court-Approved Delay of Chavez Swearing-in Jan 12th 2013, by Ewan Robertson [image: The parliamentary bloc of the opposition
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 13, 2013
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      Venezuelan Opposition to Protest Court-Approved Delay of Chavez Swearing-in

      Jan 12th 2013, by Ewan Robertson
      [image: The parliamentary bloc of the opposition MUD coalition called for a
      �massive show of force� on 23 January to protest against]

      The parliamentary bloc of the opposition MUD coalition called for a
      �massive show of force� on 23 January to protest against the legality of
      the delay in Chavez�s swearing-in (AVN)

      M�rida, 12th January 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) � The Venezuelan
      opposition has called for a �massive� street protest against the legality
      of the delay in Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez�s swearing-in, with some
      sectors of the opposition declaring that they no longer recognise the
      Chavez government.

      The opposition�s call comes in reaction to the Venezuelan Supreme Court�s
      decision on Wednesday, which ruled unanimously that a postponement of
      Chavez�s inauguration was constitutional.

      The Venezuelan constitution stipulates that a president-elect should be
      sworn-in on the January 10th after their election. It further states that
      if for any �intervening reason� this is not possible, the president can be
      sworn in by the Supreme Court, with no date specified.

      Chavez, who was re-elected as Venezuelan president for the 2013 � 2019
      period in October, has been in Cuba for the last month recovering from a
      fourth operation for cancer.

      The Venezuelan opposition argues that a delay in Chavez�s swearing-in is
      unconstitutional, and that without the ceremony taking place it is illegal
      for the government to continue in power.

      However, yesterday the Supreme Court�s ruling received the backing of the
      Organisation of American States (OAS). Speaking to press, OAS
      secretary-general Jose Miguel Insulza announced that the OAS �fully
      respects the decision taken by the constitutional powers in Venezuela�.

      He continued, �This issue has now been resolved by the three powers of the
      Venezuelan state [executive, legislative and judicial]�they have chosen a
      way that gives time for the situation [with Chavez�s health] to become
      clear, that allows a waiting period for the president elect to return and
      be sworn-in�.

      The OAS stance reflects broad international support for the legality of the
      constitutional situation in Venezuela, with representatives from twenty
      seven Latin American countries attending a huge rally to support Chavez on
      his would-be inauguration day on Thursday.

      At that event, Venezuelan vice president Nicolas Maduro said that a poll by
      an international company found that 68% of Venezuelans support the legality
      of the delay in Chavez�s inauguration.

      The executive secretary of the opposition�s Democratic Unity (MUD)
      coalition, Ramon Guillermo Aveledo, reacted bitterly to the OAS�s
      announcement, calling it �frankly lamentable�.

      In reference to the OAS general-secretary's Chilean nationality, he said,
      �It�s hard to believe that a person who has suffered dictatorship and exile
      simply accepts the government�s official version�.

      The MUD had previously sent a �warning� to the OAS over the constitutional
      situation in Venezuela, in the hope of getting the OAS to declare a
      �violation� of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

      *Calls for a �massive show of force�*

      In protest against the Supreme Court�s ruling, on Thursday the opposition
      called for a �massive demonstration of force on the streets of Venezuela�
      on Wednesday 23 January.

      The MUD parliamentary bloc in the National Assembly called for supporters
      to join �this civic, peaceful and democratic struggle, principally inside
      our country, as well as bringing the denouncement of the violation of our
      constitution and its democratic principles to the international community�.

      Some sectors of the opposition have declared that they no longer recognise
      the legitimacy of the government.

      Opposition legislator Maria Corina Machado said on opposition TV station
      Globovision yesterday that, �Venezuela has awoken today with a usurped
      government,� and that neither Maduro nor government ministers should
      continue in their posts.

      She said that the demonstration on 23 January would mark the beginning of a
      �new stage� of �mobilisation and action� by the opposition.

      Futher, opposition leader and mayor of Metropolitan Caracas, Antonio
      Ledezma, repeated the opposition�s claim that the delay in Chavez�s
      swearing-in was a �state coup�. Backing the call to demonstrate, he said,
      �The people shouldn�t surrender nor accept humiliation,� while also urging

      Several pro-government public and grassroots media sources have drawn
      parallels between these declarations and the opposition�s discourse in the
      lead-up to short-lived the 2002 coup against the Chavez government.

      Speaking at the pro-Chavez rally on Thursday, Maduro reminded those who
      disagree with the current constitutional situation, �who want to come out
      and march and shout slogans, can do so, in the framework of the law�.

      However, he warned opposition supporters �not to go crazy, to respect the
      peace of the country; and to that opposition that always falls for coup
      temptations, we call on them to reflect and rectify in time�.

      *Opposition student protests*

      Pro-opposition students organised a series of small protests yesterday.
      Students from the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) gathered in Caracas
      to denounce the �kidnapping� of the constitution.

      At the same time, a group of students from the law department of the UCV
      announced their support for the Supreme Court�s decision as �in
      concordance� with the �fundamental principles� of the constitution.

      A small protest in San Cristobal in Tachira state turned violent, with
      authorities and public media accusing a group of students of trying to burn
      down the headquarters of two public institutions. Opposition TV Globovision
      has denounced that nine students were wounded in confrontations with police
      at the protest.

      Today, opposition supporters gathered in a public square in Caracas to
      �reject� the Supreme Court�s judgement. The right-wing Popular Will party,
      which organised the event, urged citizens to turn out to protest an
      �indefinite usurpation� of the constitution by the Supreme Court.
      *Source URL (retrieved on 13/01/2013 - 4:42am):*

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