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Latin American Unity Urged

November 16, 2002|From Reuters

BAVARO, Dominican Republic — Leaders from Latin America, some facing acute economic and social problems at home, met Friday to declare their common support for democracy and hope for economic stability.

The Ibero-American summit kicked off in this Caribbean beach resort with a call from host Hipolito Mejia, president of the Dominican Republic, for the region to stick close together in hard times.

"It's clear that the stability of our countries is today closely linked to a world where real crises and difficulties are breeding and developing," Mejia told the gathering, which for the second year running did not include Cuban President Fidel Castro.

Mejia said that many Latin Americans were suffering widespread poverty.

"We must tighten even more our spirit of union" in facing such problems, he added.

Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo and Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso also did not attend the annual meeting of leaders from Latin America and former colonial powers Spain and Portugal.

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