Foreign minister to represent Venezuela at summit

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said he was traveling Thursday to a summit of South American leaders in Lima called to discuss the political crisis in Venezuela over its disputed presidential elections.

On his Twitter account, Jaua said he would denounce "the political assassinations that resulted from opposition political intolerance."

Peruvian officials in Lima had said that Venezuela's president-elect Nicolas Maduro had been expected to attend the summit of Union of South American Nations on the eve of his inauguration.

Maduro's swift certification as the narrow winner in Sunday's presidential elections to replace the late Hugo Chavez set off opposition protests Monday that left eight people dead.

Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles has demanded a recount, claiming irregularities, but so far has been rebuffed by the National Election Council and Venezuela's Supreme Court.

The election council is studying a formal request for a recount that Capriles submitted on Wednesday.