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.
President Nicolás Maduro is not only the heir to the throne, but also to an economic crisis which demanded urgent measures to rectify the course. The crisis showed up in two aspects: a 50% inflation estimate, and shortage of staples ranging between 70% and 98%. These issues might hit the President's poor popularity; considering his feeble electoral victory of 1% over his challenger.