Venezuela Ignores Constitution

    Two men glance through a newspaper with the front page announcing the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in Bogota on March 5, 2013. Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro will take over as interim president and an election will be called within 30 days, the country's foreign minister said Tuesday, after Hugo Chavez's death. AFP PHOTO/Luis ACOSTA        (Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images)

    Newspapers announcing death of Chavez on Tuesday. (Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty)

    You didn’t think Hugo Chávez would relinquish power just because he’s dead, did you? The Venezuelan Constitution declares that, in case of the president’s inability to be sworn in, the speaker of the National Assembly should serve in his place in the interim. But Chávez was never one to play by the rules, and the longtime Venezuelan president made sure to name his own successor. As Chávez wished, Vice President Nicolas Maduro—not National Assembly Speaker Diosdado Cabello, will act as interim president for up to 30 days, until the nation calls a formal election. Venezuela is expected to go all out in memorializing Chávez: schools across the country have been closed for the week, and seven official days of mourning were declared.