With Chavez Not Showing Up To His Own Swearing-In, Ros-Lehtinen Says The Venezuelan Constitution Must Be Respected & New Elections Must Be Held
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, issued the following statement regarding tomorrow’s swearing-in of Hugo Chavez. Chavez will not be present, as the Venezuelan constitution demands, for his swearing-in before the National Assembly.
“The delay of his swearing-in is yet another example of the trampling of the constitution by this despot. The Venezuelan constitution states that the leader of Venezuela needs to take the oath of office on January 10 in front of the National Assembly or the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice.
The authoritarian and undemocratic Chavez regime would do anything to maintain its iron grip over the Venezuelan people and these thugs cringe at the thought of relinquishing power. The Venezuelan Supreme Court is filled with Chavez cronies and cannot be seen as an impartial judicial entity. The voices of the Venezuelan people demand to be heard and they deserve a fair, transparent, and democratic process to determine the fate of their nation.
I call on the Department of State and the Organization of American States to ensure that democratic principles and the respect for the Venezuelan constitution are upheld. All responsible nations should ensure that Venezuela follows its own constitution which states that in the ‘absolute absence’ of the President, new elections must be held.”