The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, called for more action and organization to permit South American and Arab countries to work out their own model of development.
Chávez was the final speaker, yesterday, at the First Plenary Meeting of Heads of State and Government at the South America – Arab Countries Summit.
Chávez said that he was encouraged when President Lula informed him of the proposal to hold the Summit. In his view, “there is a limitless potential for us to have closer ties. A new international geopolitics is arising. We must spur it on.”
The Venezuelan President believes that the South-South integration path was interrupted after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the United States “obliged the world to adopt its [the American] model.”
Chávez defended an autonomous model, “linked to the history, tragedy, and future of the Arab and South American countries.”
Chávez indicated some of the paths he considers essential to strengthen the South American and Arab regions. The first of these would be the integration of the oil-producing countries in the two regions.
“The energy field is an area that warrants the attention of the various countries gathered here.
The OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) is a successful example of how it is possible to reach agreements despite political and geographical differences,” Chavez believes.
“We also need to expand our alliances in the communications sector, integrating televisions for our populations to get to know one another. This is the only way to give continuity to integration projects.”
The Venezuelan President also urged the creation of a social assistance fund to support progress in South America and the Arab countries, as well as more action on the part of development banks.