Emergency Surgery for Colombia VP Day Before Presidential Meeting With Venezuela

By Loretta Duchamps
Loretta Duchamps
Loretta Duchamps
August 10, 2010 Updated: August 10, 2010

After barely two days in office, the newly inaugurated vice president of Colombia, Angelino Garzon was taken to the hospital for an alleged heart attack Monday morning where he underwent emergency heart surgery, according to Colombia Reports.

The vice president suffered from severe chest pains before tests confirmed “heart disease in multiple vessels,” according to AP.

Garzon was “conscious and stable” prior to the surgery in a Bogota hospital, according to AP.

The vice president’s illness comes a day before a high profile diplomatic meeting between Colombia’s new president, Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Tuesday.

The presidents will try to smooth out a diplomatic dispute, which erupted in July during the administration of former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe. Colombia alleged that Venezuela is harboring militant rebels from FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), and ELN (National Liberation Army).

Chavez immediately broke off diplomatic ties with Colombia after the accusation in a meeting with the Organization of American States in Washington, then in an about face, announced he would meet with the Santos.