Venezuela's Maduro skips Ibero-American summit after positive COVID test

Venezuela's government marks anniversary of Chavez's coup attempt in Caracas
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends a rally to mark the anniversary of Hugo Chavez's initial coup attempt in 1992, in Caracas, Venezuela February 4, 2023. REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/File Photo

CARACAS, March 25 (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro canceled his attendance at the Ibero-American summit after receiving a positive COVID-19 test result, though he has since tested negative twice, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said on Saturday.

Rodriguez said Maduro was informed by his doctors on Friday of a positive PCR test, leading him to cancel his appearance at the event, which provides a forum for leaders from across Latin America as well as Spain and Portugal.

"Two tests have been performed today with negative results. Everything indicates that it was a false positive," Rodriguez said on Twitter.

Venezuela's information minister, Freddy Nanez, told Reuters earlier on Saturday that Maduro will not attend the event a day after a summit official said Maduro was on his way to the Dominican Republic.

Foreign Minister Yvan Gil will attend the Saturday and Sunday conference instead.

Maduro is shunned by many governments due in part to his 2018 re-election derided as a sham by international observers. His attendance would have marked his first foreign trip this year.

Reporting by Leonardo Fernandez Viloria and Deisy Buitrago in Caracas Writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Matthew Lewis

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