Chávez's attendance at Mercosur summit in Brasilia is confirmed
Brazilian Ambassador in Caracas, José Antonio Marcondes, confirmed the Venezuelan president's attendance at the meeting. This would be Chávez's second trip to a country other than Cuba in one year
Chávez traveled to Cuba unexpectedly last week to receive hyperbaric oxygenation therapy. His date of return has not been announced so far. Therefore, his presence in Brazil could dispel doubts about his health.
"Yes, it is confirmed (Chávez's attendance to the summit)," said Monday Ambassador Marcondes on the sidelines of a diplomatic event in Caracas, when asked about Chávez's participation in the meeting.
Later, a Brazilian government source said on condition of anonymity that "there is expectation about Chávez's participation at the summit, but there is still no confirmation." Attendance can be confirmed even the day before the summit.
If the Venezuelan president actually attends the meeting, this would be his second visit to a country other than Cuba in one year. In late July, he visited Brazil on the occasion of Venezuela's entry into Mercosur customs union.
Diplomatic sources have hinted that Chávez would possibly travel from Havana directly to Brasilia to attend the summit.
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.