Newly designated Venezuela's Foreign Minister Elias Jaua reacts prior to attend the deliver of the state of nation address to National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, on Jan. 15, 2013. Venezuela's Vice President Nicolas Maduro submitted the report in writing from ailing President Hugo Chavez. (Xinhua/AVN)
CARACAS, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela' s ailing President Hugo Chavez, currently recovering from cancer surgery in Cuba, has appointed Elias Jaua Milano as new foreign minister, Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced Tuesday.
Maduro, on behalf of Chavez, made the announcement when delivering the state of the nation address at the National Assembly.
"President Chavez has just appointed Elias Jaua Milano as foreign minister and also the government's vice president of politics," said Maduro, who currently holds the foreign minister's post.
Jaua, 43, had been Chavez's former vice president until he left to run for governor of populous Miranda state in the regional elections on Dec. 16, 2012.
He was defeated by opposition leader Henrique Capriles, making Miranda one of three states, out of the total of 23, to be governed by the opposition.
Henrique Capriles, who lost to Chavez in the October presidential elections, questioned the legality of the appointment, saying that "The only way a minister can be named is through a decree by the president of the republic. If Maduro is signing that document, then he would be acting as interim president."
Chavez has not been seen in public since undergoing his fourth round of cancer surgery on Dec. 11, 2012.
Maduro, who returned Monday after a three-day visit to Havana, said Chavez is making progress, adding "We can say that our commander is climbing the hill, he is advancing."
Chavez's recovery sees progress, says Venezuelan VP
CARACAS, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela's Vice President Nicolas Maduro Tuesday said President Hugo Chavez is making progress in recovering from his recent cancer surgery in Havana, Cuba.
"We can say that our commander is climbing the hill, he is advancing," Maduro told a gathering of officials in the presidential palace, during the first meeting of the national government council for the 2013-2019 presidential term.
"Our commander is fighting a battle," said Maduro, adding aides were keeping the president abreast of events at home. Full story