Tues. 5 p.m.: Venezuela announces death of President Chavez
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuela’s defense minister is pledging that the military will remain loyal to the constitution in the wake of President Hugo Chavez’s death.
Admiral Diego Molero appeared on national television to appeal for “unity, tranquility and understanding” among Venezuelans.
He says troops will safeguard the sovereignty of the country.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro is taking over leadership of Chavez’s political movement after the socialist leader died Tuesday at age 58 after a nearly two-year bout with cancer. Maduro now faces the daunting task of rallying support in a deeply divided country while maintaining unity within his party’s ranks.
Maduro decidedly lacks the vibrant personality that made Chavez a one-man political phenomenon in Venezuela, but he has the advantage of being Chavez’s hand-picked successor.