Chávez, Qaddafi get chummy at 'South-South' summit
The Africa-South America summit’s big personalities dominated the show. But some concrete proposals, like the plan for a Bank of the South, also came from it.
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After New Yorkers last week denied him the cultural courtesy, his host at the weekend’s Africa-South America summit, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, had a private meeting with Mr. Qaddafi in the now-famous bedouin tent. It was set up near the pool at the event’s hotel on the Venezuelan Caribbean island, Margarita.
But more than allowing him his preferred accommodations, Mr. Chávez is set to also decorate Qaddafi in a military parade in Caracas Monday, diplomatic sources told the Agence France-Presse. [Editor's note: The rally actually took place on the island of Margarita. In it, Chávez presented Qaddafi with a replica of a sword supposedly used by regional independence hero Simón Bolívar.]
Not too shabby, given it’s Mr. Qaddafi’s first visit to Latin America.
These two stalwarts were among nearly 30 South American and African leaders who came to the gathering Saturday and Sunday, only the second of its kind. (The first was in Abuja, Nigeria in 2006.) Although it was painted as a grouping of radicals following the Western-led (G-20 and UN) meetings to the North, cool-headed center-leftists from the region also attended and proposed pragmatic ideas.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva plugged his nation’s long-held desire to host the Olympics in 2016. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said she would consider becoming a part of the initiative, formalized this weekend by seven other South American nations, to plan a $20 billion dollar “Bank of the South” to finance regional projects, according to BBC Mundo.