CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will not attend the 24th Ibero-American Summit being held in the eastern Mexican city of Veracruz, government sources confirmed to Efe on Monday.
The Venezuelan leader, who has not participated as head of state in an Ibero-American Summit since he was elected a little less than two years ago, will stay home to attend to domestic commitments, authorities said and Maduro confirmed on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez will not attend the Veracruz meeting either and instead will participate in the climate change conference in Peru, Foreign Ministry officials told Efe without specifying whether any member of the Cabinet will be representing Venezuela at the summit.
The most recent time that a Venezuelan leader participated in an Ibero-American Summit was in 2007 in Santiago, Chile, when the late Hugo Chavez irritated King Juan Carlos of Spain, who said “Why don’t you shut up?” to the Venezuelan leader after a speech the latter gave in which he hurled criticism at Spain’s former prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar.
During the 2013 summit in Panama, the Venezuelan delegation – headed by the deputy foreign relations minister, Veronica Guerrero – proposed a comprehensive reform of the Ibero-American Summit system to satisfy the needs of the community of nations and avoid the duplication of tasks with other regional integration entities.
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