An alternative trade block in south America supported by Bolivia Venezuela and Cuba has been born.
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s Vice Premier Carlos Lage were invited by Bolivia’s head of state Evo Morales. They met at Sinahota in remote southeast Bolivia.
It is in the coca growing region power base of the president elected last January. Morales supports expanding production of coca, the main ingredient in cocaine, but says it should be used to make legal products
Crowds of local people watched the three don traditional Bolivian costume. They listened as Chavez pledged to help Bolivia in its programme to take over control of the country’s natural gas reserves.
Chavez also treated his Bolivian audience to an attack on US policies in the region.