A Caracas resident walks past a mural 12 December, 2002, depicting (L-R) late Cuban-Argentine guerrilla leader Ernesto Che Guevara, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Cuban President Fidel Castro and Libyan leader Moamer Kad, a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Havana. August 6, 2013
Machado Ventura: Recent summit strengthened ALBA
NURIEM DE ARMAS
The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) strengthened its principles of integration and complementarity at the recently concluded 7th Summit, according to José Ramón Machado Ventura, a vice president of Cuba's Councils of State and Ministers, who led the country's delegation to the meeting in Ecuador.
Machado VenturaThe exchange among heads of state at the 12th ALBA Summit was outstanding, Machado Ventura told Prensa Latina.
He added that the entrance of Santa Lucia as a new member exemplified the growing strength and authority of ALBA in the region, a result of the impact of programs being implemented.
Machado Ventura joined representatives from ALBA member countries Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Ecuador, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda and Santa Lucia.
Special guests at the Summit included representatives from Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Suriname, Guyana and Haiti.
ALBA's goal is to integrate more countries, to strengthen economic ties through cooperation, resist the domination of capital and promote programs of a social and educational nature which are moving forward, Machado said.
He emphasized benefits to be generated by the creation of an economic zone which links ALBA with Petrocaribe, and with the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), one of the goals which had been set for the 12th Summit, in an effort to build stronger regional economic relations.
He additionally highlighted the degree to which the perspective of ALBA leaders coincided with that expressed by social movements in member countries, which were meeting concurrently. Proposals and agreements made at the two gatherings included several points in common.
Some 200 representatives of social organizations met in Guayaquil, for two days, discussing and exchanging information about issues important to the sovereignty of their countries, agriculture, indigenous peoples and those of African descent.
Machado Ventura also emphasized the statement made by ALBA leaders condemning international espionage operations conducted by the United States and denouncing the recent aggression against Bolivian President Evo Morales on the part of several European countries, which denied his plane access to their airspace.
Among other topics addressed at the Summit, Machado Ventura mentioned as positive agreements reached outlining procedures and methods of work which will facilitate the making of decisions and the implementation of ALBA programs, missions and treaties in member countries.
He commented that these should allow needed planning and implementation of development programs in the region to advance more rapidly.
At the close of the event, ALBA leaders approved a final statement entitled ‘ALBA Declaration from the Pacific' - in a clear reference to, and rejection of, attempts being made by U.S. imperialism to revitalized its Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) via a new mechanism, including a trans-Pacific trade agreement.
The FTAA proposal was rejected in 2005 by Mercosur countries at their Mar de Plata Summit, leaving the U.S. strategy without support in the region.