Celac meets in Chávez's absence
Cuba, fully included in the regional ambit, will take on the pro-tempore presidency
Launched in December 2011, in Caracas, at the request of an ailing Chávez, Celac means the completion of a process of political affirmation of Latin America vis-ŕ-vis the United States, starting in 1982 with the Contadora group (Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela) to compromise and settle on Central American conflicts, AFP related.
In default of its top sponsor, admitted to hospital in Cuba one and a half month ago for his fourth cancer surgery on December 12, the future of Celac remains a riddle.
"There is a big question mark about a thriving Celac without Chávez," expert in international affairs with University of Chile Ricardo Israel told AFP.
In any case, Cuba is to hold the presidency for one year, under an agreement reached in Caracas whereby the two-year term of Costa Rica was split into two in order to strike a balance.
"Cocoa is to Venezuelans what wine is to the French," says Alejandro Prosperi, head of the Venezuelan Chamber of Cocoa, using this simile to express the paramount importance or the cocoa industry for the country. Often times heralded as "the best cocoa in the world," a passion for quality dating back to the sixteenth century has made Venezuelan cocoa growers to enjoy high prestige at international level and their product to be among the most sought-after in the world.