The Venezuelan opposition is furious with the military and the country’s Supreme Court for postponing the inauguration of Hugo Chavez because of his illness.
The president was due to be sworn in on Thursday but the government said on Tuesday that the event would be postponed to allow him more time to recover from the “respiratory insufficiency” he has suffered since undergoing emergency cancer surgery on 11 December.
The move prompted a furious debate in the national assembly and dire predictions of “anarchy” by the opposition, but the ruling party has planned a mass rally on Thursday to demonstrate popular and regional support.
Venezuela’s armed forces expressed support for the postponement. In a televised video conference with the vice-president, Nicolás Maduro, the minister of defence, Admiral Diego Molero, said he was in full agreement with a delay.