Chávez not to attend summit on health reasons
Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro announced that President Hugo Chávez will not attend the Summit of the Americas in Colombia because he must prepare to start the fourth cycle of radiation therapy to fight cancer
Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro said on Saturday that President Hugo Chávez will not attend the Summit of the Americas being held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. "The president will not attend the summit this time, but he is involved in the debate by all means," he said.
"For medical advice, he has decided not to attend. He is undergoing treatment very carefully and with much discipline," said Maduro from Colombia, adding that he would be "the voice of the President (Hugo Chávez) at the plenary session."
On Friday, during a ceremony to commemorate the events of April 11, 12 and 13, 2002 Chávez said his attendance to the Summit of the Americas depended on the decision of the his medical team.
Additionally, Maduro termed criminal the blockade against Cuba. "Failing to allow Cuba to attend a Summit of America is something inexplicable. Our countries, our governments will not attend these summits any more and these meetings will come to an end for good," he said.
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Brazil on March 13 to demand the ouster of embattled President Dilma Rousseff, carrying banners expressing anger at bribery scandals and economic woes. A banner read "We don't want a new Venezuela in Brazil."