President Hugo Chávez not to attend Mercosur summit
A spokesperson for the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told AFP that Vice-President Nicolás Maduro would represent Chávez at the meeting in Brasilia
"President Chávez is not coming to the summit. Venezuela will be represent by (Foreign Affairs Minister and Executive Vice-President) Nicolás Maduro," a spokesperson for the Brazilian Foreign Ministry told AFP.
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.