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.
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.