Hugo Chavez, Ortega call for Latin American unity

2008-07-16 04:09:16 GMT       2008-07-16 12:09:16 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

QUITO, July 15 (Xinhua) -- President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and his Nicaraguan counterpart Daniel Ortega called for Latin American unity during a meeting with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa here Tuesday.

Ortega, who joined a scheduled Correa-Chavez meeting in the Manta air base in the Pacific Ocean, called for the unity of all Latin American countries.

Chavez echoed Ortega, saying: "Let's bear in mind that (only) all together, only when we are united will we have a homeland for all Latin Americans."

The three leaders decided to defend the "Socialism of the 21st century" as an alternative system to neo-liberalism and capitalism.

They also expressed hope that the Venezuela-led Petrocaribe, a regional energy security alliance of 18 countries in the region, will continue to act as a catalyst to unite Latin America.

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