ACAPULCO, Mexico — Eight Latin American presidents bemoaned their region's crushing debt problem today and called for united action to save their devastated economies and societies threatened by social unrest.
One after another, the Latin leaders spoke of "unjust international economic relations," "unequal distribution of riches" and "debilitating debt" in opening speeches of their two-day summit.
President Jaime Lusinchi of Venezuela said the nations of Latin America, like other underdeveloped countries, are suffering "the results of unjust international economic relations.
"These are manifested in constant deterioration of terms of exchange, the monopoly of new technologies, the imposition of tax barriers to our products, the arbitrary management of international financing, the manipulation of markets for primary materials and, particularly dramatic, the grave problems of foreign debt," he said.
President Virgilio Barco of Colombia said crushing debt service payments have forced many Latin American countries to "put aside carefully prepared plans" for development.