Caracas: Nicolas Maduro was sworn in as president of Venezuela on Friday, taking the oath of office in the memory of the late Hugo Chavez to cheers in the National Assembly.
"I swear it before the eternal memory of the supreme commander," he said after being read the oath by National Assembly speaker Diosdado Cabello.
Cheers broke out in the packed assembly as the presidential sash was placed over the 50-year-old Maduro, who was elected president Sunday in snap elections to replace Chavez, who died of cancer on March 5 after 14 years in power.
Close Chavez allies including Presidents Raul Castro of Cuba and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran watched the ceremony along with leaders from other Latin American countries who rallied around oil-rich Venezuela`s new government.
Fireworks fired by Maduro supporters boomed across the city in celebration but the fainter sound of pots being banged in protest could also be heard, recalling that his narrow victory has been challenged by the opposition.