EspañolNearly nine months after the passing of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Spanish newspaper ABC.es published today several photos which strongly suggest the existence of a new heir in his clan. According to their allegation, the little girl born in 2008 comes from a relationship between the president and his former flight attendant, Nidia Fajardo Briceño.
Fajardo met the former President while working in Viasa, an airline company responsible for organizing presidential trips, and the relationship was far from secret within the former president’s inner circle. The governor of the state of Nueva Esparta, Carlos Mata Figueroa, even mentioned the existence of this girl in an interview earlier this year. The child, along with her mother, also attended the ceremony of the president’s vigil last March.
The little girl’s name is Sara Manuela, and she’s now five years old. The photos released by ABC.es show a situation of affection between Briceño, Sara Manuela, and the former president. In one of the photos, the girl poses alongside one of Chávez’s grandchildren, the son of his daughter Rosa Virginia and Vice President Jorge Arreaza.
Reporte Confidencial, a Venezuelan website, claims that Hugo Chávez’s paternity is on Sara Manuela’s birth certificate. Due to the restrictions on children traveling with one parent outside the country, Sara Manuela’s mother — who now works outside Venezuela — has had a lot of problems to doing that with her daughter. To do so, she needs Chávez’s death certificate; however, the government hasn’t been willing to give it to her, despite her multiple requests.
This isn’t the first time that a new heir has appeared from outside his two marriages. Chávez previously accepted the paternity of a little girl named Genesis María, born in 2005 as a result of a romance with Bexhi Lissette Pérez Segura. Apparently, at first the former president refused to accept the child. However, Pérez pressured and threatened to make the situation public, achieving her daughter’s recognition in 2009.
Even though both girls are now widely recognized as Chávez’s daughters, they never received a place in the presidential family.
Nonetheless, Sara Manuela’s family expects the recognition of her rights as heiress as well. Her mother claims that her aim to avoid a division of “first-class and second-class heirs.” This would go against “the flag of protection of children and women,” raised by the Constitution and promoted by Chávez himself.
This news also comes at a sensitive time for Chávez’s family. The inheritance of his billionaire is complicated: his whole family is divided, and his children born during his two marriages are in legal disputes. This new heiress may gain not only a new family, but a legal battle with no easy way out.
Translated by Marcela Estrada.