HAVANA, Cuba -- Argentina's foreign minister, with the support of Cuba, asked members of the non-aligned movement Thursday to join the 'struggle of all Latin American people' in ousting Britain from the Falkland Islands.
'Today we reiterate with true passion our request for support at this very, very dangerous moment, not only for Argentina but for Latin America and its entire movement,' Argentine Foreign Minister Nicolas Costa Mendez said.
Costa Mendez spoke to a half-filled hall at a meeting of the non-aligned movement, members of which consider themselves independent of either the United States or the Soviet Union. Many of the members are leftist governments hesitant to support the right-wing Argentine military junta in its dispute with Britain.
'This is the struggle all Latin American people for the defense of a continental territory,' he said. 'It is the struggle of all who confront colonial aggression.'
He criticized the United States for its support of Britain in the Falkland Islands war, adding Argentina has faced aggression from the two countries since 'almost prehistoric times.'
Cuban President Fidel Castro gave Costa Mendez, the first Argentine diplomatic chief to visit Havana since the Communists seized power in 1959, a cordial greeting and met privately with him on Wednesday.
Cuban Foreign Minister Isidoro Malmierca Peolo urged the leaders of the 92-member non-aligned movement to give Argentina unqualified backing.
Cuba's call for support for Argentina was expected to have a powerful influence on other members of the movement.
But as Costa Mendez was seated in the hall where the Third World leaders were meeting, the Guyanese delegate gave a strongly-worded and unsympathetic speech on the Falklands crisis.
'We regret the action taken by Argentina (seizing the Falklands) on April 2 has had a cataclysmic effect, one which could have repercussions within the hemisphere and indeed beyond,' said Guyana Foreign Minister Rashleigh Jackson.
Jackson urged Argentina and Britain to adhere strictly to the terms of the United Nations resolutions which call on Buenos Aires to withdraw its forces from the Falklands and negotiate a settlement through the United Nations.
Argentina is a member of the non-aligned movement, but does not have a representative on the 34-member coordinating board which is holding the three-day meeting in Havana.