Venezuela's interim president resigns amid protests
Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2002
CARACAS, Venezuela (April 13, 2002 11:11 p.m. EDT) - One day after he was sworn in, Venezuela's interim president resigned Saturday in the face of protests by thousands of supporters of the ousted president, Hugo Chavez.
"Before the nation, before the Venezuelan people, I present this resignation," Pedro Carmona told Union Radio.
Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets earlier Saturday - some taking over state TV - demanding that ousted Chavez be returned to power.
Carmona said he was handing over power to the National Assembly, but Chavez's vice president, Diosdado Cabello, went on Union Radio to say he was acting president until Chavez returns to power.
Chavez's whereabouts were unclear. Labor Minister Maria Christina Iglesias had said on state TV that Chavez was about to be flown out of the country by a military plane from Orchila Island off the Venezuelan coast.
Earlier in the day, with control of the military appearing to unravel, Carmona postponed inaugurating his Cabinet.
The military of oil-rich Venezuela forced Chavez out on Friday after demonstrations against him. Some commanders refused to accept the appointment of Carmona.
Tens of thousands of Chavez supporters surged toward the presidential palace as night fell Saturday, demanding Chavez's return. MORE