CARACAS – At around 5:00 pm Monday in Caracas, the summit of representatives of countries belonging to the Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA) convened to discuss Venezuela’s general elections, to be held next May 20.
The host country’s head of state, Nicolas Maduro, led the meeting, in which Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and Presidents Evo Morales or Bolivia, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Raul Castro of Cuba also took part.
These four heads of state were greeted personally at the Miraflores presidential palace by President Maduro.
Meanwhile, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry announced the arrival of Ecuadorian Defense Minister Patricio Zambrano and of the permanent secretary of Foreign Relations for Antigua and Barbuda, Anthony Liverpool, who will both attend the summit meeting.
Also on hand were the special envoy for the prime minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Ambassador Michael Oliver Powell, and Surinam Foreign Affairs Minister Yldiz Pollack.
The meeting was scheduled to begin at 10:00 am but was postponed because of the ceremonies celebrated on Monday by the ruling party to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the death of revolutionary leader Hugo Chavez.
The state-run news agency Venezolana de Noticias (AVN) said the summit will serve to “ratify support for Venezuela against the recent threats by the United States government, while also indicating full support for the elections called for the second half of the month of May.”
Venezuela’s leading opposition coalition will not take part in the May 20 elections, considering them fraudulent, as does a large part of the international community.
ALBA, founded by the late president of Cuba, Fidel Castro, and of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is made up of Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Grenada, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Venezuela.