That 70s Show
The NAM was a group of countries claiming to be non-aligned to either the West or the Soviet bloc that somehow managed to include among its members such die-hard Moscow client states as Ethiopia, North Korea, Afghanistan … and Cuba.
In other words, despite its initial good intentions, the whole thing turned into one big joke, culminating in 1979 when the NAM Summit was hosted by Fidel Castro in Havana.
There, the member countries dutifully vowed to fight all forms of Imperialism, colonialism, racism, Zionism … In fact, every ism except the most obvious one: Communism.
Anyway, the Cold War may be over (we won, chaps!) but it seems the NAM is still alive, if not all that well.
It’s got 115 members or thereabouts, it meets regularly and produces communiqués and plenty of photographs of leaders of some of the poorest nations in the world alighting from their personal jets and calling on the US to give more money to the poor.
It remains a bit of a joke.
Which may explain why its next heads of government Summit is in Havana. It takes place next week and it was to be hosted by Castro himself. Of course, that was before the non-aligned man who has ruled the non-aligned Cuba for the past non-aligned 47 years was rushed into the operating theatre.
This time, I suspect the NAM Summit will attract plenty of media attention internationally - but not for the reasons the ailing 80-year-old dictator would have preferred.