nations to slam US global cop role
By Anthony Boadle
HAVANA (Reuters) - Developing nations will denounce the United States' role
as global policeman at a summit in Havana this week, Cuban Foreign Minister
Felipe Perez Roque said on Sunday.
Perez Roque said the summit was not organized to attack the United States but
developing countries could not remain silent over "unilateral" actions taken by
Washington in policing the world since the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
"This summit will denounce the threats of preventive wars, the proclaimed
rights of the world's only superpower to occupy countries illegally and change
regimes, and the existence of secret prisons for torture," he said at a news
Diplomats said moderates like India and other nations friendly with
Washington wanted no such finger-pointing at the United States during the
Some 50 heads of state and government will attend the meeting of the
116-nation Non-Aligned Movement.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro, Washington's longest-lasting ideological foe, may
not be well enough to attend the meetings.
Perez Roque said he did not know if ...
Castro, who is recovering from stomach surgery in July, would be able to do more
than receive in private some of the leaders expected in Havana.
"We cannot say yet whether he will be physically present in the work of the
summit," he said.
Emergency intestinal surgery for an undisclosed illness forced Castro, 80, to
turn over power temporarily to his younger brother, Raul, and left him 41 pounds
(18 kg) thinner. Raul Castro will stand in for his brother at the summit.
Cuba's main leftist ally, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, is seen as the
political heir who will take up Castro's role of assailing Western capitalism in
the name of the world's poor.
SUPPORT FOR IRAN
The presidents of Iran and Syria -- which the Bush administration sees as
supporters of terrorism -- are expected in Havana as well as a high-ranking
delegation from North Korea, which Bush has included in an "axis of evil."
The Non-Aligned Movement, which groups almost two-thirds of the member states
of the United Nations, will back Iran's disputed nuclear program and endorse its
right to use nuclear energy for peaceful ends, including the right to enrich
uranium to produce electricity, Perez Roque said.
The Cuban minister criticized the "hypocritical double standard" of the
United States and other Western nations that have tried to stop Iran's nuclear
program while they "perfect" their own nuclear arsenals.
Cuba, the West's only surviving communist nation, takes over the chairmanship
of the NAM from Malaysia for the next three years.
The movement was founded in Belgrade in 1961 by Third World nations to try to
avoid alignment with either the United States or the Soviet Union. Its founders
included Yugoslavia's Josip Broz Tito, India's Jawaharlal Nehru, Egypt's Gamal
Abdel Nasser and Indonesia's Sukarno.
Since the Cold War ended, the movement has struggled to find a purpose.
Experts say it is handicapped by historical, cultural and religious
"It's a relic of the Cold War," said Riordan Roett, director of Western
Hemisphere Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies in
Washington. "Allowing Cuba to head the movement indicates that it is pretty
irrelevant, particularly under an ailing Fidel or an aging Raul."
"They clearly are not going to have the energy to do very much other than
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