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Chavez, battling cancer, fades from world stage

Postmillennialism —  Leave a comment

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, who has yet to confirm his attendance at the Summit of the Americas this coming weekend, faces a slippage of regional influence as he undergoes radiation therapy for cancer.

A recurrence of cancer first detected in 2011 has kept Chavez in Havana for days at a time for the radiation treatment, with brief weekend trips home between rounds.

He was to complete his third round on Wednesday, and so far has not said whether he would attend the two-day summit of regional leaders in Cartagena, Colombia, which begins Saturday.

“The information we have is that he will attend, although he likely will not spend the night in Cartagena,” said Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, whose government is hosting the gathering of heads of state and government.

“It would be a pleasure for us to have him for the night, but certainly it is complicated with the treatment he is undergoing. We think he will attend, unless there is an additional health issue,” she said in Bogota.

A center of attention at past regional summits due to his flamboyance and sometimes crude rhetoric, Chavez, in power since 1999, has led a group of leftist governments that he organized as a counterweight to the United States.

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