Latin American leaders on Saturday met in the northern
Venezuelan city of Barquisimeto, to talk about boosting regional
cooperation in energy, trade and other sectors.
The summit, dubbed as the Bolivarian Alternative for the
Americas (ALBA), drew together Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez,
Bolivian President Evo Morales, Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega
and Cuba's Vice President of Council of Ministers Carlos Lage. Six
Latin American nations including Haiti, Ecuador and Uruguay
attended the meeting as observers.
Chavez, whose nation hosts the two-day summit, said that
Venezuela hopes to sign a deal with Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and
Haiti to become the sole energy supplier to the four countries.
Chavez also said Venezuela will submit a package of cooperation
plans in education, medical care, energy and industry to the
summit. The member states of ALBA will make joint efforts to
eliminate illiteracy in the region, he added.
ALBA was formed in 2004 by Venezuela and Cuba to beef up
regional cooperation and to oppose the US-backed free trade area.
Bolivia and Nicaragua joined the bloc in April, 2006, and this
(Xinhua News Agency April 29, 2007)