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Latin American leaders seek energy coopeation

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Latin American leaders seek energy coopeation

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The first regional summit on energy has ended in Latin America with a deal that includes both traditional and alternative fuels.
There were tensions between Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and his Brazilian counterpart over a Brazilian-US agreement to promote greater ethanol output from developing countries.

It has been fiercely criticised by Chavez who says it would monopolise the land and starve the poor.

“We ask the president of the United States to rectify his proposals,” said Chavez. “He is manipulating and misleading the world. Never, ever, will ethanol, or biofuels, be a substitute for petrol.”

Brazil, which is one of the world’s biggest producer of ethanol, remains defiant, claiming there is plenty of arable land for the project. It plans to double output in the next decade. Brazil produces the bulk of its ethanol from sugar cane.

Chavez toned down his criticism of Brazil, instead focussing on US production methods involving corn which he disapproves of.

Leaders at the summit agreed to create a regional alliance to regulate and promote cooperation in the energy sector.