ALBA celebrates 8th Anniversary
Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolás Maduro presided over the key ceremony
Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro presided over the principal ceremony, as part of the commemoration of the eight anniversary of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America – Peoples' Trade Agreement (ALBA-PTA), held on Saturday evening at Bolívar Square, downtown Caracas.
Bolivian President Evo Morales; Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer; Primer Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit; Vice-President of the Cuban Ministerial Council, Miguel Díaz Canel; Nicaragua's Government Minister Ana Morales, and ex Honduran President Manuel Zelaya showed up for the occasion.
The audience included members of the Venezuelan Executive Cabinet, local authorities and representatives of the public branches. Historian and University Professor Vladimir Acosta started the presentations, state-run news agency AVN reported.
The news marked an ominous beginning, health-wise, of the year 2015: the Cardiovascular Surgery Unit at Hospital Clínico Universitario, one of the country's largest teaching hospitals, was to close completely on January 5 due to lack of medicines and surgical supplies. All patients who were waiting to be operated on were sent home. More than 10 patients waiting for surgery reportedly died there from lack of basic medical supplies in the two months prior to the closure.