Chavez Has Big Dreams for LatAm and Bets on Brazil Lula’s Reelection

Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez said in Cordoba, Argentina, where he went for a summit of Mercosur’s presidents that the unity of the peoples and governments of Latinamerica are the path to turn the region into a "world power" because "each of us on our own can’t achieve it."

"Latinamerica has everything needed, with unity, to become a world power. Let us not put limits to our dreams, we could very well begin thinking about a Constitution, a regional energy agreement such as the steel and coal pact, which was a springboard for the European Union," underlined Chavez during the Mercosur presidential summit.

Mr. Chavez proposed a strengthening of the integration process. "I think we are re-beginning, in spite of all our problems; a renaissance, a new launching to the goal of a united Latinamerica".

And contrary to other occasions when he has been known for his loquaciousness, the Venezuelan leader admitted that sometimes his comments are considered "a meddling in internal affairs of other countries" and forecasted that President Lula da Silva would be re-elected next October.

"Lula wins, Lula wins," he repeated recalling that the official campaign begins next August, "as in Venezuela, because I’m also running in December", said Chavez whose remarks made his colleagues laugh.

"Campaigning in Brazil is shorter that in Venezuela because my pal Hugo needs considerably more time to say everything he likes to say," retorted Lula da Silva.

Chavez also announced the creation of a Latinamerican Medicine School in Venezuela "similar to that existent in Cuba", to "flood" the region with very much "needed doctors, non capitalist doctors". He also made it a point to thank Cuba and Fidel Castro for their "generosity."

According to the Venezuelan leader, four guidelines are essential to overcome the region’s problems and bolster integration: education, eliminating illiteracy, public health and doctors, and addressing asymmetries.

With the purpose of considering these issues he proposed the creation of a strategic committee of Latinamerican academics and "wise-men" dedicated "to think and program complementary projects."

Mercopress – www.mercopress.com

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