Latin America & Caribbean

Venezuelan leaders have meeting with Cuba's Raul Castro

Nicolas Maduro in Cuba, 12 Jan 2013
Image caption Nicolas Maduro was appointed vice-president days after Mr Chavez's re-election in October

Venezuela's most senior political leaders are in Cuba to visit President Hugo Chavez, who is still in a serious condition after his latest cancer operation in Havana on 11 December.

Vice-President Nicolas Maduro and the speaker of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, had a meeting in Havana with Cuban leader Raul Castro.

No details of the meeting have been released.

Mr Chavez missed his inauguration for a new term on Thursday.

But the Supreme Court ruled that he could be sworn in for another term as president when he recovered and returned to Caracas.

Supporters gathered in rallies and in churches on Sunday to show support for Mr Chavez and pray for his recovery.

In Cuba, a mass for the Venezuelan president was held at a Catholic Church in Havana on Saturday.

'Lack of information'

Although Venezuelan leaders met the Cuban leader on Saturday, details only emerged on Sunday. The Venezuelan delegation also included Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez and Attorney-General Cilia Flores.

Opposition figures in Venezuela have accused the Cuban government of controlling the political situation during President Chavez's convalescence.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who was defeated by Mr Chavez in the 7 October presidential election, also rejected the Supreme Court ruling.

Image caption Cubans gathered in a mass for Chavez in Havana

The Supreme Court has interpreted the constitution "according to the convenience of the central power," Mr Capriles said in his weekly column.

"It looks like no-one is willing to take responsibility and decide on what needs to be done. They have simply decided to obey."

Mr Capriles demanded greater clarity from the country's leaders: "If the country is united by anything these days, it is by the uncertainty and lack of information."

Mr Chavez, 58, has been in power since 1999. He has been re-elected for a new six-year term.

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