New York, September 20, 2004 – A defect in the president’s plane, which appeared in the last moment before take-off, forced the President to cancel his trip to New York, for the opening of the 59th meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The new minister of Communication and Information, Andres Izarra, read a prepared statement early today, in which he explained that the president’s airplane’s left engine experienced problems shortly before take-off, which “could not be repaired in time so that the President would arrive for the activity planned for today, September 20, at 2pm.”
President Chavez was also going to give a speech at the opening of the 59th General Assembly of the United Nations.
Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Jesus Arnaldo Perez, will represent the President at the events instead.
Communique Read by Minister Izarra
“The Presidency of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela informs the national and international public that the visit of the President, Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, to the 59th General Assembly of the United Nations, to take place in New York, has been suspended, due to problems of the last minute that prevented him from being present at the meeting of world leaders that the President of Brazil, Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva convoked, to discuss Development and the Overcoming of Poverty.
“Technical reasons, when the president’s plane was about to leave the International Airport of Maiquetia, forced an abort of the take-off of the airplane. Due to a failure in the start-up motor of the plane’s left engine, which could not be repaired in time so that the President would arrive for the activity planned for today, September 20, at 2pm, it was decided to suspend the trip. The participation of President Chavez at this meeting was the central motive for his visit to New York.
“From Venezuela, the Head of State presents his apologies to world leaders for his involuntary non-participation at such an important event for the destiny of our peoples and for the integration of South America. At the same time, he reiterates his adhesion to the spirit that supports the initiative of the meeting that was planned to analyze and present proposals on Development and the Overcoming of Poverty.
“President Hugo Chavez has designated the Minister of Foreign Relations, Jesus Arnaldo Perez, to represent him in the activities planned for the 59th General Assembly of the UN, where he will send a message of peace, solidarity, and integration from the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela.”