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>> Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe is one of just a handful of world leaders that's made it here to Venezuela for what was touted as a huge global summit. It's a big blow for host, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. My name's Stuart Skipps and I'm here on the Caribbean island of Margarita, just off the coast of Venezuela, for Reuters.
The island is hosting the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned movement. Now the group was set up back in the 60s for countries who didn't want to align with the United States or the Soviet Union. Back in its day, it was really important, but that relevance has dwindled over the last two or three decades.
And that's one reason for the low attendance. Another is the fact that Venezuela's going through a major crisis right now. There are shortages in the most basic goods, foods and medicines. At soup markets you see queues of hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Looting has become more commonplace.
It's one of the most violent places on the planet. As well as Mugabe, we have here the leaders of Cuba, Iran, Bolivia, and Ecuador. But most countries have sent lower ranking officials. A couple of delegates have told me they're really not happy with how things are going here.
There's delays, it's very disorganized. They're not happy with their hotels, for example. Of course, that's a reflection of the island itself. This used to be called the pearl of the Caribbean. You can see how gorgeous the sea and the beaches here. Tourist numbers have gone down more than 50% over the last year.
It's incredibly difficult for people on the island. They've been telling me they can't believe that so much money is being spent on this summit. So a lot of world leaders may not want to be seen next to President Maduro.