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.
"Cocoa is to Venezuelans what wine is to the French," says Alejandro Prosperi, head of the Venezuelan Chamber of Cocoa, using this simile to express the paramount importance or the cocoa industry for the country. Often times heralded as "the best cocoa in the world," a passion for quality dating back to the sixteenth century has made Venezuelan cocoa growers to enjoy high prestige at international level and their product to be among the most sought-after in the world.