Photo: Chavez Virtual Swear In
Ailing President Hugo Chavez is expected to be sworn in for another term as President this Thursday “virtually” from his hospital bed in Cuba. Chavez took office in 1999, and was re-elected in October to another six-year term.
Chavez remains hospitalized in Cuba more than three weeks after his latest cancer surgery. Most recently he was battling a severe lung infection from a post-operation complication. The 58-year-old president was first diagnosed with cancer after complaining of pain in his pelvic region during a June 2011 official visit to Cuba. Since then, the former paratrooper has undergone four surgical procedures and courses of chemotherapy and radiation.
Several Latin American leaders are expected for the “virtual office taking” on the 10th at the Miraflores Palace. Current government officials say the Venezuelan constitution allows for the virtual office taking while opposition leaders want reassurances that Chavez can rule. The powerful Venezuelan Catholic Church stated Chavez’ prolonged illness “puts at grave risk the political and social stability of the nation.”
Meanwhile, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez office has confirmed she will be visiting Chavez in Cuba on inauguration.