DPA (German press agency): Chavez set to return to Venezuelan presidency

Jose G. Perez jgperez at netzero.net
Sun Apr 14 00:36:45 MDT 2002


 Chavez set to return to Venezuelan presidency
    Caracas (dpa) - Ousted Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez was expected
to return to the presidency early Sunday after massive protests and
discontent in the military.
    Chavez was expected to resume control of the government just two
days after the armed forces announced he had resigned. Former
vice-president Diosdado Cabello was sworn in as president on Saturday
but said he was simply waiting to hand back government control to
Chavez.
    Cabello said he would hold power until Chavez returns and
'institutional order' was restored. Chavez had now been released
from a military prison and would be returning to the government
'within hours', he said.
    The interim president, Pedro Carmona, had resigned after a single
day in office, allowing Chavez's ally Cabello to take over and paving
the way for the return of the left-wing populists.
    Cabello was sworn in as president late Saturday night by National
Assembly legislators, who seized the government palace 'Miraflores'
together with civilian and military supporters of Chavez.
    Cabello, the third president in three days, said Chavez had been
freed from detention in the 'Fuerte Tiuna' military prison in
Caracas, where he was imprisoned by his opponents, and was on his way
to reassume the presidency.
    Chavez, 47, a democratically elected leader, had alienated many
supporters by overriding the National Assembly to carry out social
reform.
    The last straw was his naming of a political crony to head the
state-run oil monopoly. Venezuela is the world's fourth largest oil
producer.
    After 15 people died in anti-Chavez demonstrations on Thursday, the
military installed Carmona, a development that the United States later
greeted as a step toward 'democracy'.
    But South American leaders condemned the coup as a violation of
constitutional order that the continent has gradually come to adopt
over the past 20 years.
    Cabello reassured Chavez's opponents that there would be no
reprisals. Rather, in a radio broadcast, he called for dialogue,
composure and peaceful discussion.


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