Maduro: Venezuela can hold quick election

Jan. 19, 2013 at 2:17 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Venezuela will hold a presidential election quickly if President Hugo Chavez steps down, Vice President Nicolas Maduro says.

In an interview with a Spanish news agency, Maduro said Chavez would be succeeded by a president with the same program, the Los Angeles Times reported. The government released a transcript of the interview Friday.

"We have sufficiently overwhelming political strength in Venezuela (and) accumulated revolutionary force to confront whatever scenario presents itself," Maduro said.

Chavez, who recently had surgery for cancer in Cuba, is still in Havana. Maduro met with him Monday.

Maduro described Chavez as "quiet, serene." He said the surgery was "high risk," and Chavez has had breathing problems and severe bleeding.

Henrique Capriles, governor of Miranda state and Chavez's opponent in last year's election, has said that if Chavez can sign decrees, he should make a personal appearance in Venezuela to let the people know who is running the government.

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