Chávez Misses Mercosur Summit in Brasilia

December 7, 2012

by AQ Online

Heads of state of Mercosur member countries are meeting in the Brazilian capital today, marking the first time that Venezuela will participate as a full member in the South American trade bloc after Paraguay’s suspension in June paved the way for its membership. But health concerns are preventing Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez from joining his counterparts from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, with Minister of Petroleum and Mining Rafael Ramirez participating in his place.

The Venezuelan president arrived in Venezuela this morning after 10 days of medical treatment in Cuba. Chávez, 58, was diagnosed with cancer in mid-2011, and since then, has had three cancer surgeries on the island. His prolonged absences have triggered rumors around his health, and bonds have surged as a result of increased uncertainty over Venezuela’s future. When asked about his absence, Chávez explained that his departure from Cuba was delayed by a conversation with Fidel Castro, with whom he had been discussing poetry. He also asserted that Venezuela is “eight days away from the next victory,” referring to the upcoming regional elections that will take place on December 16.

Comment on this post

Chávez has been absent from every regional meeting in the past year, including the Summit of the Americas held in Cartagena, Colombia, in April and the Ibero-American summit held in Cadiz, Spain, in November.

One of the central points on today’s agenda is Paraguay’s suspension from Mercosur, following the impeachment of former President Fernando Lugo in June. Paraguay’s suspension will likely continue after the meeting and will likely be extended until a newly-elected president takes office in August 2013.

Tags: Venezuela, President Hugo Chávez, Mercosur, Paraguay Impeachment

To speak with an expert on this topic, please contact the communications office at: or (212) 277-8384.
blog comments powered by Disqus


Connect with AQ

Twitter YouTube Itunes App Store


Most Popular


  • Most Viewed
  • Past:
  • 1 day
  • 1 week
  • 1 month
  • 1 year


Atlanta, GA
   Sabrina Karim
Bogotá, Colombia
   Jenny Manrique
Caracas, Venezuela
   Paula Ramón
Guatemala City, Guatemala
   Louisa Reynolds
   Nic Wirtz
Monterrey, Mexico
   Arjan Shahani
Montreal, Canada
   John Parisella
Ottawa, Canada
   Huguette Young
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
   Flora Charner
   Stephen Kurczy


Salvador, Brazil
   Paulo Rogério
San Salvador, El Salvador
   Julio Rank Wright
  Carlos Ponce
Santiago, Chile
   Joseph Hinchliffe
Washington, DC
  Eric Farnsworth
  Liz Harper
  Christian Gómez, Jr.
  Christine Gomes
  Kezia McKeague
  Johanna Mendelson Forman