ESPACIO PUBLICITARIO
CARACAS, Friday January 25, 2013 | Update
 
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CELAC SUMMIT | Paraguay was excluded

Celac meets in Chávez's absence

Cuba, fully included in the regional ambit, will take on the pro-tempore presidency

Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy arrives in Chile to take part in the event (Photo: Efe)
EL UNIVERSAL
Friday January 25, 2013  03:06 PM
In the absence of its herald, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, and featuring Cuba, the 33 Member States of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) planned to hold meetings on Sunday and Monday in Santiago, Chile, at the foundational summit of the largest regional forum without the United States and Canada.

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-à-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.
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Law on Borders remains to be effectively implemented

In the latest attempt to plug the leaks to smuggling, Venezuela began nightly closures between 10 pm and 6 am of its official border crossings along the Colombian border.

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