Caracas, March 25, 2023 (OrinocoTribune.com)—Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro canceled his participation in the 28th Ibero-American Summit, held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic after being diagnosed with COVID-19 on Friday night. However, Vice President Delcy Rodríguez clarified hours later that it was a false positive, as two additional tests done on Saturday gave a negative results.
Presidents and representatives from 22 countries arrived on Saturday, March 25, in Santo Domingo for the weekend summit, which provides a forum for heads of state and government from across Latin America as well as Spain and Portugal. This initiative was launched by Spain in the 90’s under its “recolonization” of Latin America initiative, with the green light of Washington, in order to allow Spain to keep extracting resources from the region in a neo-colonial way. Spain remains the main promoter and financer of this summit.
Ayer, el Pdte @NicolasMaduro fue informado x sus médicos de un resultado positivo d PCR COVID. Ello motivó la suspensión de su participación en la Cumbre Iberoamericana. Hoy se le han practicado 2 pruebas con resultados negativos. Todo indica que se trató de un falso positivo.
— Delcy Rodríguez (@delcyrodriguezv) March 25, 2023
On Saturday morning there were some reports that Delcy Rodríguez would replace Maduro at the summit, but she also canceled the trip without providing any explanation. Thereafter, it was announced that Foreign Minister Yvan Gil would represent Venezuela at the 28th Ibero-American Summit. In January also, President Maduro had to cancel at the last minute his participation in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, due to security concerns arising from actions of the Argentinian right wing and judiciary.
President Maduro’s international travel has been heavily impacted by the failed “regime change” operation led by Washington that even reached the level of announcing a reward for the capture of the Venezuelan president, and pushing countries to diplomatically isolate Venezuela. These efforts have crashed due to the stubborn resistance of the Venezuelan people under the leadership of President Maduro, as well as due to the current international scenario where energy crisis and economic instability are the order of the day.
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President Maduro has never participated in an Ibero-American Summit as president. In 2010 and 2011, he attended the summit as foreign affairs minister of then-President Hugo Chávez.
This time, the absence of the presidents of the two largest economies of Latin America was also noticeable. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil canceled his participation due to his state visit to China. That trip too had to be postponed because of complications due to pneumonia that that President Lula is suffering.
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Similarly, the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced that he would not attend the summit. The government of Mexico only sent its undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Maximiliano Reyes, and not Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard. According to geopolitical analysts, AMLO’s absence is the result of tense relations between Mexico and Spain due to recent interventionists statements coming from the authorities of Spain, and the recurrent calls of the Mexican president for a formal apology by the king and the government of Spain for the genocide committed by Spanish conquistadores during the colonization of Latin America.
The presidents of Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala were also noticeably absent in the summit, which some analysts attribute to Spain’s loss of political influence in Latin America and the Caribbean region.
Orinoco Tribune Special by staff
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