Venezuela skips regional defense conference

Venezuela, in the middle of a deep diplomatic crisis with Mexico, decided not to take part Tuesday in a regional security conference here involving top military brass of its Andean neighbors as well as the United States and Brazil.

The head of Ecuador’s armed forces joint command, Adm. Manuel Zapater, confirmed to EFE that Venezuela will not be present for the gathering. “Unfortunately, (Venezuela) begged off at the last minute, I don’t know the reasons,” he said. The military officers will be in Quito through Wednesday to discuss mechanisms for cooperation and confidence-building in the Andean region. Full Story

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