Leaders of more than 30 Latin American and Caribbean nations meet at an historic
event in the Riviera Maya,this week,to launch a bloc that will serve as an
alternative to the Organization of American States.
Representatives of 32
countries,including about two dozen presidents and prime ministers,are at the
two-day summit to create a new regional organization that excludes the United
States and Canada.
Leaders of the "Rio Group" of Latin American countries
have met almost every year since 1986 when the group was created by Brazil,
Argentina,Mexico,Colombia,Venezuela and others.
"It is time for Latin
Americans and Caribbeans to unite," Mexican President Felipe Calderon,the
summit host,said today,at the event in the Riviera Maya near Playa del
It is hoped that the new organization will promote integration
and shared economic development among Latin America and Caribbean nations. It
also aspires to give the region a stronger voice in international
President of Haiti,Rene Preval,is also using the summit to
thank the world for helping after the earthquake on Jan. 12 and to ask for