Chavez Trip to Americas Summit With Obama Depends on Health

April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Colombia’s government said it expects Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to attend the Summit of the Americas this week, while Venezuela said he has yet to decide if he is fit enough to go to the meeting that will include U.S. President Barack Obama.

Because of his treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer, Chavez probably won’t stay the night in the Caribbean resort city of Cartagena where the summit will take place, Colombia’s Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said today, Bogota-based TV station NTN24 reported.

“It’s complicated due to his treatment, but so far he has confirmed his attendance,” Holguin said, according to NTN24. “The information we have is that if he attends, he probably won’t sleep in Cartagena.”

Chavez, who said last week he’s traveling to Cuba for his third round of radiation treatment, hasn’t decided if he’s fit enough to attend the meeting with Obama and other regional heads of state on April 14 and 15, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said. He plans to return to Venezuela on April 11 or 12 to commemorate the anniversary of the 2002 coup that briefly ousted him from power, he said April 7.

“Right now the president is dedicated to his treatment and recovery with a lot of energy and dedication,” Maduro told reporters today in Quito, Ecuador. “His health is progressing positively and everything will depend on what he decides” regarding his presence at the summit.

Chavez, who has undergone three operations as part of his treatment since June, is seeking to recover from the cancer in time to campaign for re-election in October in a bid to extend his 13-year rule until 2019. The government hasn’t disclosed any succession plans in case Chavez, 57, isn’t healthy enough to participate in the elections.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nathan Gill in Quito at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at