BBC News

New regional bloc established at Caracas conference

Leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean have approved the creation of a new regional bloc that excludes the United States and Canada.

But, unlike the Washington-based Organisation of American States, the new group (known by its Spanish initials as Celac) includes Cuba.

At the end of the summit in Venezuela, the leaders pledged closer ties.

They pledged to try to withstand the financial crisis affecting Europe and other developed economies.

The host, President Hugo Chavez, called the summit "historic". Will Grant reports.