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Chavez’s family set to visit leader in Cuba

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez’s elder brother Adan said he will visit the Venezuelan leader in Cuba, where he is recovering after cancer surgery.

Venezuelan government newspaper Correo del Orinoco reported on Adan Chavez’s announcement, saying he planned to travel to Havana on Tuesday afternoon. It also said that the president’s father, Hugo de los Reyes Chavez, has announced plans to travel to Havana and that Chavez’s mother might go with him, though that had not been confirmed.

Chavez’s delicate condition has sparked uncertainty and concern in Venezuela, where many have been talking about the possibility of a looming transition of power and new presidential elections.

Before undergoing surgery, Chavez designated Vice-President Nicolas Maduro as his chosen successor to take his place if necessary.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Tuesday expressed concern about what might happen if a post-Chavez transition were to go badly. In a radio interview, Santos said that if a transition in Venezuela is peaceful and problem-free, “there will be no repercussion in the region.”

“What would be terrible is if that transition weren’t easy, were problematic,” Santos said in an interview with Colombia’s W Radio. “That would generate problems in the region. That’s why I’ve said that Chavez is a factor of stability at this time.”

Chavez’s government has been appointed a facilitator in peace talks between Colombia’s government and rebels, and Santos noted that he has had a good relationship with the leftist leader despite their differences.

“I hope it stays that way, whether with Chavez or with his replacement,” Santos said.



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