The Americas

Venezuela's crisis keeps non-aligned summit turnout low

  • Youth jump on a trampoline set up on the beach at a pro-government camp in Porlamar on Margarita Island, Venezuela, Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. Hundreds of teenage activists are sleeping in tents and enjoying free concerts on the beach as foreign delegates arrive to attend the non-aligned summit held by a Cold War-era group of 120 nations. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    Youth jump on a trampoline set up on the beach at a pro-government camp in Porlamar on Margarita Island, Venezuela, Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. Hundreds of teenage activists are sleeping in tents and enjoying free concerts on the beach as foreign delegates arrive to attend the non-aligned summit held by a Cold War-era group of 120 nations. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

  • A statue of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez is unveiled during the 17th Non Aligned Summit, a meeting held by a Cold War-era group of 120 nations, in Porlamar on Margarita Island, Venezuela, Friday, Sept 16, 2016. The statue is made of bronze and measures just over three meters. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    A statue of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez is unveiled during the 17th Non Aligned Summit, a meeting held by a Cold War-era group of 120 nations, in Porlamar on Margarita Island, Venezuela, Friday, Sept 16, 2016. The statue is made of bronze and measures just over three meters. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

  • A couple sit in a tent at a camp set up by government supporters in Porlamar, Margarita Island, Venezuela, Friday, Sept 16, 2016. Hundreds of activists are sleeping in tents and enjoying free concerts on the beach as foreign delegates arrive to attend the non-aligned summit held by a Cold War-era group of 120 nations. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    A couple sit in a tent at a camp set up by government supporters in Porlamar, Margarita Island, Venezuela, Friday, Sept 16, 2016. Hundreds of activists are sleeping in tents and enjoying free concerts on the beach as foreign delegates arrive to attend the non-aligned summit held by a Cold War-era group of 120 nations. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

Crisis-hit Venezuela's economic and political problems are keeping world leaders away from a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement that was supposed to hit its full stride on Saturday.

Only eight heads of state have confirmed their presence for the two days of meetings taking place on the Caribbean island of Margarita, including the leaders of Iran, Cuba and Zimbabwe. More than 30 heads of state attended the last summit of the Cold War-era group in Iran in 2012.

President Nicolas Maduro had been touting the meeting as an opportunity to solidify his international credentials.

But the low turnout after months of shuttle diplomacy handing out invitations is likely to embolden Maduro's opponents, who are pushing for a recall referendum to remove him from office before his term ends in 2019.