Venezuela will postpone the inauguration of President Hugo Chavez for a new term due to health problems, the government has confirmed. Nicolas Maduro, the vice president, broke the news in a letter to National Assembly on Wednesday, saying “The commander president wants us to inform that, based on his medical team’s recommendations, the post-operative recovery should extend past January 10.” “As a result, he will not be able to be present at the National Assembly on that date.” The letter said authorities would seek another date for the inauguration ceremony but did not say when it would take place, nor give any time frame for Chavez’s recovery or his return from Havana. Rather than being sworn in by the legislature, he would take his oath at a later date before the Supreme Court, the letter said, as allowed by the constitution. The 58-year-old socialist leader, who has dominated the South American OPEC nation since 1999, has not been heard from or seen in public since his December 11 cancer surgery – his fourth – in Cuba. The constitution says the president should begin a new term on January 10 but does not specify what happens if the president does not take office by that date. The delay is another sign that Chavez’s battle with an undisclosed form of cancer in the pelvic region may keep him from ruling for a third term.