Non-Aligned summit is first meeting of member countries since 2012

CCTV News

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Eight Presidents are attending a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Venezuela. That’s considered a low turnout, as 24 attended the last Summit of the group in Iran in 2012. But supporters of the movement, set-up during the Cold War, are declaring it a success.

CCTV’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Margarita Island, Venezuela.

Non-Aligned summit is first meeting of member countries since 2012

Non-Aligned summit is first meeting of member countries since 2012

Eight Presidents are attending a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Venezuela. That's considered a low turnout, as 24 attended the last Summit of the group in Iran in 2012. But supporters of the movement, set-up during the Cold War, are declaring it a success.

The day began with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro greeting the visiting dignitaries. That took almost three hours. After all, only the United Nations has more member countries than the Non-Aligned Movement.

For the Venezuelan leader, these are important images he wants to show that Venezuela is not short of friends.

But it was noticeable that all of the Presidents that came, fit into the “old friends” category: Traditional allies of leftist Venezuela. Most other 100 member countries sent relatively junior delegations.

That may well be connected to the fact that Venezuela is in the midst of an economic and political crisis – with loud calls from within the country for Maduro to stand down.

Leave the cozy bubble of the summit, and Venezuela’s economic difficulties become apparent. The nation’s GDP has shrunk by 25 percent in the last three years. Serious shortages of basics, including food, are widespread.

Ivan Eland on the Non Aligned movement

For more on the Non Aligned Movement and their summit in Venezuela, we were joined by Ivan Eland, a Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute.