Gadhafi, Chavez Buddy Up

Iconic leaders want a 'NATO for the South'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 28, 2009 9:54 AM CDT
Libya's President Moammar Gadhafi, left, and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, right, wave during the official photo at the Africa and South America Summit, Sept. 26, 2009.   (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
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(Newser) – Moammar Gadhafi and Hugo Chavez are strengthening their relationship and finding common ground as two radical former military men who both want to challenge the "imperialism" of wealthy nations and aspire to speak for many poor nations. The Libyan leader plans to meet with the Venezuelan president today and is expected to sign a series of accords to deepen cooperation between their governments.

Chavez and Gadhafi led a weekend summit where South American and African leaders pledged to deepen links between the continents. Chavez made diplomatic inroads while offering African countries Venezuela's help in oil projects, mining, and financial assistance. Gadhafi said the two regions should unite to form, a "NATO for the South"—calling it "SATO." "Those who were betting on NATO, we now say to them that we're going to bet on SATO," he said.