Ana Vrizeno watched with dismay Wednesday as Venezuelan authorities announced that President Hugo Chavez is not required to be sworn in on Jan. 10.
"You have no idea how hurt I am enough (about) what’s going on in my country,” the Venezuelan-American said at a restaurant in Weston.
The Venezuelan Supreme Court said that Chavez, cancer-stricken in Cuba, does not have to be sworn in Thursday, the official inauguration day. Chavez was last seen publicly late last year when he departed for Cuba for another surgery, and has been unable to return to Caracas.
Doral Mayor Luigi Boria predicted in an interview this week with NBC 6 South Florida that the Venezuelan government would manipulate the situation.
The Venezuelan Constitution says, "If for any unseen reason, the president of the republic cannot be sworn in before the National Assembly, he or she shall take the oath of office before the Supreme Court."
So the thinking is the Jan. 10 date is flexible. Despite protest from opposition leaders, the National Assembly bought that argument, and so did the Supreme Court. The constitution does not specify a time limit or date for the court to perform a Chavez swearing-in.
That means the inauguration party will go on Thursday – without an inauguration, or Chavez, getting a pass from the government he controls.
"I think it’s ridiculous, it cannot happen,” Vrizeno said.