Shortly after entertaining Libya’s Muammar Gadaffi on Margarita Island after last week’s UN general assembly in New York, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez says seven African nations, including South Africa, will join his country in forming a transcontinental mining corporation. SA, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, Angola and Tanzania had signed letters of intent to create the ASA Mining Corp. However. better known for their pro-revolutionary propaganda than actual news reporting, the state media hopefully won’t make “ASAs” of themselves on this issue. While the purpose of the mining venture is to give poor nations greater control over developing their resources, Mauritania, Mali and Sierra Leone are hardly the economic tigers capable of funding such a venture. The Venezuelan party hacks said the new alliance would see joint ventures set up small plants to process iron into steel. It remains to be seen whether countries in the alliance have iron ore in adequate economic quantities, notwithstanding where the plants will be situated. But that didn’t stop the indaba from envisioning grand proposals to fight the economic dominance of the “devilish West”. Definitely smacks of too many cocktails all round.