enezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hailed the start on Tuesday of a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement as a success despite what he said were attempts to wreck the gathering in the crisis-stricken nation.
Worries over anti-Maduro protests, poor attendance and food availability dominated the buildup to the meeting of the Cold War-era bloc on Venezuela's Margarita Island in the Caribbean.
Maduro, whom the opposition is vying to unseat via a recall referendum this year, has blamed the worries on what he says is a US-led campaign seeking to sabotage his socialist administration.
"Welcome to the delegations of over 105 countries that are already here, working despite pressure from the 'gringos,' despite a right-wing lobby, despite the threats - they can't keep us back!" he said during his weekly television program on Tuesday night.
"Today will stay in the annals of Venezuelan diplomacy for centuries to come," added Maduro, as ministers clapped.