Celac meets in Chávez's absence
Cuba, fully included in the regional ambit, will take on the pro-tempore presidency
Launched in December 2011, in Caracas, at the request of an ailing Chávez, Celac means the completion of a process of political affirmation of Latin America vis-à-vis the United States, starting in 1982 with the Contadora group (Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela) to compromise and settle on Central American conflicts, AFP related.
In default of its top sponsor, admitted to hospital in Cuba one and a half month ago for his fourth cancer surgery on December 12, the future of Celac remains a riddle.
"There is a big question mark about a thriving Celac without Chávez," expert in international affairs with University of Chile Ricardo Israel told AFP.
In any case, Cuba is to hold the presidency for one year, under an agreement reached in Caracas whereby the two-year term of Costa Rica was split into two in order to strike a balance.
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.