Caracas: Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez said he thinks a bloc of left-leaning nations should attend the upcoming Summit of the Americas despite
their opposition to Cuba`s exclusion.
Chavez said last night that he favors attending the April
14-15 summit in Colombia along with other leaders of the
Bolivarian Alliance, or ALBA, bloc, the state-run Venezuelan
News Agency reported.
"This will be the last so-called Summit of the Americas
without Cuba. The next one wouldn`t occur," Chavez said in a
phone call broadcast on state television.
He said a "good number of us" will advocate Cuba`s
inclusion at the next such gathering.
"No more summits without Cuba`s participation," Chavez
Chavez said he had discussed the matter with the leaders
of Argentina, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Brazil.
In Brazil yesterday, Bolivian Foreign Minister David
Choquehuanca said ALBA member countries had yet to decide
whether to participate in the summit due to Cuba`s exclusion.
"We`re in the middle of discussing this issue. We think
we aren`t in times of exclusion. We`re in times of inclusion,"
Choquehuanca said after a meeting with Brazilian Foreign
Minister Antonio Patriota in Brasilia.
Members of the ALBA bloc demanded last month that Cuba be
included in the summit, but stopped short of threatening a
boycott while urging Colombia`s government to extend an