Hugo Chavez

Chavez Will Not Attend Swearing-In

Dispute over whether it can be postponed due to president's health

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President Hugo Chavez won't be able to attend his scheduled swearing-in this week, Venezuela's government announced Tuesday, confirming suspicions that the leader's illness will keep him in a Cuban hospital past the key date.

National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello made the announcement during a legislative session while reading a letter from Vice President Nicolas Maduro.

Tensions between the government and opposition have been building in a constitutional dispute over whether the ailing president's swearing-in can legally be postponed. The president underwent his fourth cancer-related surgery in Cuba last month and hasn't spoken publicly in a month.