Can Chávez and Gaddafi’s proposed NATO of the South really work?
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez this week played host to thirty or so African and Latin-American leaders. Brought together by Chávez for an intercontinental summit, invitees included controversial leaders such as President Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi.
Chávez, Gaddafi and Mugabe are never likely to be any western leader’s preferred dinner guests and the gang don’t seem interested endearing themselves anytime soon… Gaddafi and Chávez announced from the summit that they are hoping to form an “anti-imperialist” front across Africa and Latin America that they see as becoming the NATO of the South.
“The world’s powers want to continue to hold on to their power,” Colonel Gaddafi announced somewhat richly for a dictator who had a white limousine flown all the way to Venezuela to meet him at the airport. “Now we have to fight to build our own power”.
Whilst the behavior of Gaddafi often seems farcical, he is not without influence in the sphere of international politics as was recently illustrated by what many have interpreted as a trade for oil of Lockerbie bomber, Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi. The eccentricity of Gaddafi’s behaviour perhaps overshadows it’s malignance. Meanwhile Chavez’s polarized Venezuelan citizens love and loathe him with partisan passion whilst he too attains a severity of international influence through his nation’s wealth of oil. Meanwhile Mugabe, despite his horrendous human rights record remains in power with international powers seemingly unable or unwilling to depose him.
This proposed NATO of the South’s membership roster seems a promising idea that has been initiated with a rather peculiar blend of power, hypocrisy and eccentricity by worrisome individuals. You can use Global for Me as a tool to explore the issues discussed here or whatever issues you are interested in- covered in a rather more balanced, informed and analysed way than I have here by Global For Me’s experienced network of expert professional journalists.
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