Both Diosdado Cabello and Nicolas Maduro insist that the latter is not taking any authority himself. Instead, Maduro is simply acting on the orders of the president.
Maduro cited a clause in the constitution that says the vice president may present reports to the legislature if asked to do so by the president.
‘‘Nicolas didn’t come to take the place of the president. He came to bring the documents ... under instructions from the president,’’ Cabello told reporters.
So now we have to consider what constitutes "instructions." Indeed, what does it mean to be in charge? As yet, there is no evidence that Hugo Chavez is conscious. His brother said he was conscious and communicating, yet for some strange reason he does not communicate with the Venezuelan people, and does not sign documents either.
What a strange political limbo. The government goes on as if Chavez were just on vacation, railing on the opposition for even suggesting this is out of the ordinary. But if Chavez is not conscious, who is in charge?