Anti-imperialist rhetoric and ambitious ideas flowed on Sunday at a summit dominated by South America’s leftist leaders and some of
Flanked by the likes of Robert Mugabe from
The two-day summit on Venezuela’s sweltering Margarita island, in the Caribbean, came right after the U.N. General Assembly and the G20 summit and was intended as a counterpoint to Western dominance of global institutions.
“We have to construct a new alliance, discover opportunities and help ourselves mutually,” Lula said, summing up the central theme of speeches by the 28 leaders present.
On specifics, Mugabe and Chavez proposed greater cooperation on exploitation of resources like minerals and oil.
The Venezuelan, who sees himself at the forefront of a global “anti-imperialist” movement, urged his fellow leaders to form a “multi-state” corporation for mining.
Those riches belong to our people,” the garrulous Chavez said, giving a mini-speech himself between every speech by another leader.
“Let’s not waste a day. If we start with just two or three countries, well we’ll start with those that can.”
Mugabe, a former guerrilla commander in power since independence from
Some of the summit participants are severely criticized by opponents for abusing rights and democracy at home.
On the sports front, Mugabe suggested the ASA (South America-Africa) nations meeting should hold their own World Cup-style soccer tournament, while Lula urged support for
“The biggest sporting event after the World Cup cannot be a privilege of rich nations,” said Lula.
“The International Olympic Committee’s leadership is like the world’s riches — all concentrated in Europe which has more delegates than all of Africa and
While the summit has included plenty of harsh words in general for the West’s past sins and present indifference to global poverty,
On the eve of the summit, its Mining Minister Rodolfo Sanz said
But Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez sought to calm the controversy caused by that, telling Reuters that
A 95-point resolution produced at the summit touched on wide range of global issues.
It included a call to reform the U.N. Security Council; proposals for more cooperation in education, technology, mining, agriculture and energy; and condemnation of piracy, nuclear weapons and illegal arms trading.
Paying his first visit to the