The meeting will focus upon the final consultations for a trade agreement between the two countries, after an earlier meeting had to be cancelled due to Chavez’s recent medical problems. Last month the Venezuelan leader had to return to hospital after a lesion was discovered in his pelvic region less than a year after undergoing cancer treatment in the same area.
While in Cuba, Santos will also meet Cuban leader Raul Castro to discuss Cuba’s participation at the Summit of the Americas, due to be held in Colombia’s Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena in April.
Cuba’s participation in the event has been a source of controversy, as the United States insists it should not be invited due to not being a member of the Organization of American States [OAS].
Cuba’s membership in the OAS was revoked in 1963 due to the country’s socialist political system. While the suspension was revoked in 2009, Cuba has refused to rejoin.
However the left-leaning ALBA bloc of Latin American nations, which includes Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua, has threatened to boycott the event if Cuba is not invited.
Last month the OAS said that Colombia is responsible for making the decision about Cuba’s participation at the summit.