Chavez to Miss Swearing In

Miguel Gutierrez/EPA, via Landov ,MIGUEL GUTIERREZ

Several people attend a mass for the health of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in a church in Caracas, Venezuela, on December 31, 2012. The traditional official events of New Year were canceled but several masses were celebrated to pray for Chavez health.

Let the protests begin. Venezuela's National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello announced Tuesday that Hugo Chavez won't be able to attend his presidential swearing-in on Thursday. The ailing leader has been recovering from his fourth cancer surgery in 18 months in Cuba, and complications have kept him hospitalized. Opposition leaders say the presidential term ends on January 10 and postponing a swearing-in is unconstitutional, while Vice President Nicolas Maduro says it is merely a "formality" and the constitution is being misinterpreted. Chavez is in "stable condition" and is recovering from a severe respiratory infection.