Chavez Bows Out of Americas Summit

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro announces that President Chavez will skip the Summit of the Americas. Photo: TeleSur TV

HAVANA TIMES, April 14 — Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez decided today not to attend the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia (April 14-15) for medical reasons.

Chavez had announced that he would leave for Cuba today to begin his fourth round of radiotherapy treatment to fight cancer but had left the door open to a possible detour to the summit en route to Havana.

The mystery ended around noon on Saturday when Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, speaking to TeleSur TV from Colombia, announced that Chavez would abide by his doctors’ recommendation and skip the summit.

Maduro noted that Chavez will be paying close attention to what transpires in Cartagena.

It was at the last Summit of the  Americas (Trinidad and Tobago 2009) that Chavez presented US President Barack Obama with author Eduardo Galeano’s classic, “The Open Veins of Latin America”.

As in the other five summits held since 1994, Cuba was not invited do to the pressure applied from Washington. Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa is boycotting the gathering in protest of the island’s exclusion.