Only the vicepresident has been reported to have seen or spoken with the president and since the Supreme Court refuses to make a commission to check on him, from all what we know he might as well be dead and we're facing a power vacuum.But the absence of the president, who left for Cuba on Dec. 10 for a fourth round of cancer surgery and has not been seen in public since, has sparked a conflict between government officials and opposition groups. The latter declare that although Chavez won reelection in October, he cannot remain president if he has not taken the oath of office.
The crisis picked up steam Tuesday, when Vice President Nicolas Maduro confirmed what many Venezuelans had expected: that Chavez would not return in time for his inauguration. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that he could delay his inauguration past the Jan. 10 date set by the constitution.
Supreme Court President Luisa Estella Morales went on to say that the ceremony could take place “at a time and a place to be determined” by the court. She also said that the court saw no merit in appointing a medical board to determine the state of Chavez’s health.