More than 55 heads of state attended the 14th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, held Sept. 15-16 in Havana, Cuba. Cuban foreign minister Felipe Perez Roque called the meeting of the 118-member organization an “unprecedented success.” The summit’s final document expressed support for several countries opposed by the US government: the group said it backed Bolivia and its president, Evo Morales, against “external forces seeking to destabilize the country”; viewed with concern the “aggressive policies of the US” against Venezuela; rejected the US trade embargo against Cuba; and asserted Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Acting Cuban president Raul Castro officially welcomed the summit. His brother, Cuban president Fidel Castro, is recovering from intestinal surgery, but met privately with United National general secretary Kofi Annan and several heads of state. (El Universal, Mexico, Sept. 17; Reuters, Sept. 15)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Sept. 24