The summit of the Non-Aligned Movement on Margarita Island, Venezuela is winding up. Representatives from 120 – mostly developing nations – have been gathering. The conference comes at a difficult time for Venezuela’s leftist leader Nicolas Maduro. His country is facing the world’s steepest recession, and an emboldened opposition is leading calls for a recall referendum against him.
CCTV America’s Stephen Gibbs gave us this report from the summit.
Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement winds up in VenezuelaThe summit of the Non-Aligned Movement on Margarita Island, Venezuela is winding down. Representatives from 120 - mostly developing nations - have been gathering. The conference comes at a difficult time for Venezuela's leftist leader Nicolas Maduro. His country is facing the world's steepest recession, and an emboldened opposition is leading calls for a recall referendum against him. CCTV America's Stephen Gibbs gave us this report from the summit.
A show of support for Venezuela’s embattled President. That’s certainly how the Venezuelan government wants the Non-Aligned Movement summit to be seen, and remembered.
Fewer Presidents than the organizers might have hoped did make the journey. Just eight came in the end. But this forum for the developing world has kept to its core mission statement, which is to be non-judgmental about its own.
Mohammad Alam, Bangladesh Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, recognizes each country has their own internal challenges.
“We must help each other out to get out of the challenges,” said Alam. “You know every country we talk about, every nation of this world we have limitations, we have challenges.”
Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, is a longtime supporter of Venezuela’s leftist government, says he thought the summit would help President Maduro.
“It’s a good boost, but you still have to be doing things in your own country connecting with your own people and enhancing the possibilities and reducing the limitations, as far as is humanely possible,” Gonsalves said.
The truth is that most of the delegates here have been less concerned about Venezuela than their own pressing challenges – issues from terrorism to rising sea levels.
The summit’s final declaration makes a call for action on those and many other issues – with notably little reference to Venezuela. But that doesn’t mean the hosts have held back from trying to make their own political point here.
On the eve of the opening of the summit, in front of the main conference hall, a statue, of Venezuela’s late leader, Hugo Chavez was unveiled. He was the president that took this country on its leftist path.
There are some delegates who are offering Venezuela’s leadership unwavering support in these difficult times. But that support is not unanimous.
Ivan Eland on the Non Aligned movement
For more on the Non Aligned Movement and their summit in Venezuela, we were joined by Ivan Eland, a Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute.