CARACAS, Friday February 15, 2013 | Update
DIPLOMACY | He was expected in Peru Thursday night

Venezuelan FM suspends trip to Lima after call from Havana

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elías Jaua was slated to meet on Friday with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, who traveled to Havana on January 12. "Jaua's visit will be rescheduled in the coming days," said a diplomatic source in Peru. It was not possible to determine where the cancellation was linked to the health condition of President Hugo Chávez

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez welcomes Elías Jaua in a previous visit to Havana (File photo: Reuters)
Friday February 15, 2013  08:06 AM
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elías Jaua canceled at the last minute on Thursday an official visit to Lima that was to start on Friday, after being called to Havana by President Hugo Chávez, a source of the Peruvian Foreign Ministry told AFP.

"President Hugo Chávez has called Foreign Minister Elías Jaua to Havana; his visit has been postponed," a diplomatic source that requested anonymity told AFP.

The announcement came hours before Jaua departed from Caracas for Lima. Sources were not available to confirm whether the cancellation of the trip is linked to a health setback of President Chávez, who has been convalescing in Havana for more than two months following a fourth cancer operation.

Jaua was expected in Lima on Thursday night at the military airport, where he was to be received by Foreign Minister Rafael Roncagliolo.

The Venezuelan Foreign Minister was to be received on Friday by President Ollanta Humala, who traveled to Havana on January 12.

"Jaua's visit will be rescheduled in the coming days," added the Peruvian diplomatic source.
Ailing healthcare system seeking a cure

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.

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