Hugo Chavez's Daughters Refusing to Leave Presidential Home

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 03:29 PM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez died of cancer in March 2013, but fifteen months later his daughters have refused to vacate the official residence in Caracas, Fox News Latino reports.

As expected, President Nicolas Maduro, who was known as the "son" of Chavez, promptly moved into La Casona, the presidential home, after his election. Maduro ordered the Chavez daughters, Rosa Virginia, 35, and María Gabriela, 34, to leave, but they rebuffed his request, which is causing controversy among the political opposition.

"The law is very clear: La Casona is for the exclusive use of the Head of State, his wife, and his descendants. Right now, President Nicolás Maduro is not living there because it is occupied by Chávez's daughters," Carlos Berrizbeitia, an opposition lawmaker, told Fox.

According to Berrizbeitia, the residence is home to a movie theater, bowling alley, and other amenities and costs $300,000 a month to maintain.

The controversy is not the first time one of Chavez's daughters engaged in behavior that drew public condemnation.

Just last month, María Gabriela was named in a scandal involving the Argentinean rice company Bioart and allegations she facilitated the import of 37,000 tons of rice at an inflated price to Venezuela, according to a report in Oryza, a website that focuses on the rice industry.

The site notes the deal dates back to May 2013 when Argentina signed an agreement with Venezuela committing to a purchase of 80,000 tons of rice from Venezuela.

"The Chamber of Industrial Rice Growers of Entre Ríos said that the murky business agreement has hurt many Argentinians while benefitting only a select few entrepreneurs and intermediaries of the rice deal," says the report.

In 2012, another daughter, Rosines Chavez, who was 14 at the time, caused a stir when she posted a photo on Instagram gripping a handful of dollars, which angered many in anti-capitalist Venezuela, reported The Washington Post.

Chavez had seven children, who inherited an extensive estate that includes 17 country estates and liquid assets of $550 million, according to London's Daily Telegraph.

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