Santos: Problematic transition in Venezuela could be bad for the region
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos claimed to have no news about the health status of his Venezuelan counterpart
"If there is an easy transition in Venezuela, as it were, and a transition with no disturbance whatsoever, unable to create any problems at all inside Venezuela, then all of us (in the region) would be alike; there would be no repercussion on the region," he reasoned.
"It would be terrible though if the transition were not smooth, sort of problematic; that would create troubles in the region," the Colombian leader underscored.
Queried into the medical status of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, after a surgery last week in Cuba as part of his cancer treatment, Santos replied, "The truth is that I lack accurate information."
"I understand that he is complicated... He would not have bid farewell in this way had he not been facing troubles, but I do not know for certain about his health status nowadays, neither does anybody."
The Colombian leader added that he has kept in touch with Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolás Maduro, but gave no further details.
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.