Maduro active in Chavez's absence

2013-01-19 09:00
Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro. (File, AFP)

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Caracas - Venezuela's vice president stepped into the shoes of ailing President Hugo Chavez in a flurry of public events on Friday, working to maintain an image of government continuity after more than five weeks of unprecedented silence from the normally garrulous president.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro and other Cabinet ministers have striven to assure a nervous public that Chavez's administration is firmly in charge even as the opposition challenges its legitimacy. Chavez has been out of sight in Cuba since undergoing cancer surgery on December 11.

Among three televised events held nationwide on Friday, Maduro helped opened a school in Chavez's home state of Barinas alongside the president's elder brother, Adan, who is the state's governor.

"We're all Chavez. We have to feel that way," Maduro said during the school visit. "We all love Chavez from our hearts."

The vice president, whom Chavez designated last month as his chosen successor, also visited an agricultural training centre in Lara state, where he insisted on the importance of "socialist efficiency".

He then spoke to National Guard troops in western Zulia state, blaming materialistic values for exacerbating crime. A day earlier on Thursday, Maduro presided over the inauguration of a housing project in Caracas.

Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez gave an update on the government's efforts to build new public housing for the poor, saying more than 400 000 homes are currently under construction nationwide.

"All the programmes of the revolution continue and will continue," Ramirez told reporters on Friday. "The revolutionary government hasn't stopped, not one minute."

Opposition leaders have said the government violated the constitution by indefinitely postponing Chavez's swearing-in past January 10, a stance that has been dismissed in a ruling by the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, a president known for speaking and singing on television for hours at a time has not uttered a word or appeared on television since December 10. Even his popular and normally busy Twitter account has gone dark since early November.

Maduro and other government leaders don't enjoy anywhere near the level of public adoration that Chavez does, but the president's followers have still embraced him as his anointed stand-ins.

Critics note that while many Venezuelans remain on edge awaiting news of Chavez's condition, the government faces serious challenges ahead.

The opposition newspaper Tal Cual headlined an editorial by journalist Fernando Rodriguez on Monday saying Venezuela is now a "headless country".

"Who's in charge in this country?" Rodriguez asked. He noted that Venezuela is being battered by 20 percent inflation, shortages of some types of food and that hundreds were murdered last month during the holidays.

Rodriguez wrote that as he sees it, "The country is standing still."

- AP

Read more on:    hugo chavez  |  nicolas maduro
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Marikana ANC office burnt down

A shack used an ANC branch office has been set alight at Nkaneng informal settlement in Wonderkop near Marikana.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2815.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.