U.S. Markets open in 7 hrs 22 mins

Foreign minister: VP Maduro is interim president

Fabiola Sanchez and Frank Bajak, Associated Press

Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez yell "Long Live Chavez!" and sing their nation's anthem after learning that Chavez has died through an announcement by the vice president in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, March 5, 2013. Venezuela's Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced that Chavez died on Tuesday at age 58 after a nearly two-year bout with cancer. During more than 14 years in office, Chavez routinely challenged the status quo at home and internationally. He polarized Venezuelans with his confrontational and domineering style, yet was also a masterful communicator and strategist who tapped into Venezuelan nationalism to win broad support, particularly among the poor. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's foreign minister said Tuesday that Vice President Nicolas Maduro will be interim president in the wake of Hugo Chavez's death and run as the governing party candidate in elections to be called within 30 days.

It was not immediately clear when presidential elections would be held.

Four hours after Chavez's death was announced, Foreign Minister Elias Jaua told the Telesur network that the president had clearly stated in December what should occur if he died.

Chavez said Maduro should be the socialist party candidate and suggested he should oversee the convening of new elections.

Venezuela's constitution specifies that the speaker of the National Assembly, currently Diosdado Cabello, should assume the interim presidency if a president can't be sworn in.

Chavez was re-elected in October but never sworn in.