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Latin America Economic Forum Discusses Energy, Migration Issues
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Regional integration, including energy and migration issues, are being discussed in Cuba's capital Havana at the five-day International Economists' Meeting on Globalization and Development Problems.

At the forum, which runs from Monday till Friday, Venezuela's Deputy Energy Minister Bernard Mommer stressed sovereignty in a speech delivered on Thursday on natural resources policy.

Venezuela, a major supplier of crude oil to the United States, has vowed to safeguard its sovereignty in years of tensions between Caracas and Washington.

John Saxe, a professor from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, addressed the session on the Mexico-US energy links.

Other speakers, including Chandra Muzaffar, head of the International Movement for a Just World, Ali Rodriguez, Venezuela's ambassador to Cuba, and a former secretary general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, talked about energy integration within the framework of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA).
The Venezuela-initiated ALBA aims to act as a counterweight to the US proposed hemisphere-wide trade deal.

On Wednesday, delegates warned about the globalization-linked migration problem, saying the issue has affected regional economic development.

They said neo-liberal globalization has boosted the number of migrants, with complex effects.

They, among others, called for greater participation by educators in a Latin American integration campaign.

Also on Wednesday, the College of Puerto Rico Economists formally declined an invitation to host the 2008 conference, saying the United States would surely not allow Cuban economists to attend. The conference general assembly then approved a bid for Colombia to be the next host.

The International Economists' Meeting on Globalization and Development Problems, the ninth since its first session in 1998, attracts nearly 1,500 delegates from 43 nations. The forum brings together 27 international organizations and economists from 16 colleges.

(Xinhua News Agency February 9, 2007)

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