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
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
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
(Xinhua News Agency February 9, 2007)