Key Decisions and Directions From ALBA XI: ‘A Grand Summit!’

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Key decisions and directions from ALBA Summit XI

By Dady Chery
Haiti Chery

1. Approval of common economic zone

The member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América, ALBA), Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St Vincent and the Grenadines unanimously approved the Treaty Eco-ALBA to develop a common economic area with:

  • A bank, to which they agreed to earmark one percent (1%) of the international reserves of each member nation.
  • A multilateral fund from member nations that will enable the use of a single currency by the Unique Regional Compensation System (Sistema Único de Compensación Regional, Sucre).

Leaders from the eight-nation Bolivarian Alliance bloc, or ALBA, attend the first session of a summit at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday Feb. 4, 2012. The monitor at left shows a live image of Bolivia's President Evo Morales. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

“This is a union of independent nations and a strategy of fair and equitable development for our people and not for foreign capital,”

said Cuban President Raul Castro.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez suggested that some of the multilateral fund could be used to

“help smaller countries in the region to promote their economic and social development.”

The heads of state in attendance discussed the possibility of filing international reserves of member countries at the Bank of ALBA. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa noted that the Sucre will help to prevent vulnerability from a dependence on the use of foreign currencies for trade and said that:

“A commercial zone is not set by decree, facilitating institutions, trade promotion, etc., but above all the will, to seek additional exchanges, adequate, mutually beneficial and those are the actions we must take.”

2. Strong support for Haiti

ALBA member countries pledged to “remain united to help Haiti,” and announced the creation of a humanitarian fund for Haiti.

They also plan to increase cooperation with Haiti in areas including agriculture, energy, industrial development, education, transport, and tourism.

Participating countries ratified the presence of the Republic of Haiti as a permanent special invitee.

The participants agreed to hold the next summit of the ALBA Foreign Ministers in Jacmel, Haiti, on March 2nd to March 3rd, 2012.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez signed a new cooperation agreement with President Michel Martelly on Sunday February 5th, in which Venuezela promised to double its aid to Haiti.

The agreement with Venezuela includes joint projects in job creation and the expansion of agricultural production.

  • For agriculture, Haiti will provide labor and land, and Venezuela will provide technological support and credit to farmers.
  • Venezuela, in the context of a cooperation with China, will also open several appliance stores in Haiti that will sell, at subsidized prices, Chinese-manufactured goods including refrigerators, electric ranges, radios, and solar panels.
  • Venezuela will also encourage private companies to invest in Haiti.

“It is the responsibility of Latin American countries to remain united to help Haiti,”

declared President Chavez.

3. Strong backing for Argentina on issue of Malvinas

The ALBA countries agreed to block ships flying the Falklands flag from docking in their ports.

Ecuadorian president, Rafael Correa, said:

“It is time for Latin America to decide sanctions against this mistaken power that pretends to be imperialist and colonialist in the 21st century.

“I think we have to apply more forceful things. We have to talk about sanctions.”

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said:

“If it should occur to the British empire to attack Argentina militarily, Argentina won’t be alone this time.

“Venezuela is no power, but we’ve got some weapons and the will to face any imperialist aggression.”

4. Special Declaration in honor of Cuban Five and Denouncement of Embargo Against Cuba

The Declaration in Honor of the Cuban Five called for the release of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, as an act of social and humanitarian justice. It condemned the sentences as being the result of serious legal irregularities and motivated by political revenge.

On the issue of the United States embargo against Cuba, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa urged a boycott of the Summit of the Americas by ALBA members next April if Cuba is not included. Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño called the issue “a question of regional dignity” and proposed that, until the Cuban embargo is lifted, ALBA nations should require visas from U.S. citizens who travel to their countries.

5. Special Declaration on inalienable rights of Puerto Rican people

This document reaffirmed Puerto Rico’s right to full independence and noted that this Latin American and Caribbean nation with its own culture and history has had its sovereignty violated by the U.S. for over a century.

6. Official communiqué condemning U.S. destabilization of Syria

ALBA member countries officially condemned the U.S. policy of intervening against and destabilizing the Arab Republic of Syria.

7. Proposal of an ALBA Defense Council

Bolivian President Evo Morales proposed an ALBA Defense Council

“to make the military serve the interests of the peoples rather than the empire’s.”

“The Armed Forces should never allow foreign military bases in our countries,” he said.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez welcomed this proposal and asked the Political Council to evaluate it and report on it.

8. New membership

Member countries approved the entry of Suriname and St Lucia as special guest members of ALBA, as a preliminary to their full membership.

 

Sources: AlterPresse (French) | Haitian Press Network (French) | El Ciudadano (Spanish) | Granma (English) | El Universal (English) | Haiti Chery (assembly, translations, summary)

Related: Haiti to Observe ALBA Summit in Venezuela

© Copyright 2012. This material is available for republication as long as reprints include a verbatim copy of the article in its entirety, respecting its integrity. Reprints must cite Dady Chery and Haiti Chery as the original source including a “live link” to the article.

 

VIDEO: President Rafael Correa speaks at ALBA (Spanish)

 

It has been a grand Summit!

Affirms President Raúl Castro at the closure of the 11th ALBA Summit

By Yaima Puig Meneses
Granma

Caracas, Venezuela — Solidarity, cooperation, complementarity, reciprocity, sustainability, technological sovereignty and economic union, are the fundamental principles behind the work of ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America) for more than seven years.

It has been a grand Summit! And with precisely the clear proposition of consolidating Latin America and Caribbean sisterhood the final session of the 11th ALBA Summit took place February 5. Army General Raúl Castro, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, and the other heads of state and government or their representatives, arrived at Miraflores Palace on Sunday morning where they were received by Venezuela leader, Hugo Chávez Frías.

One of the agenda items was the entry of new countries into ALBA with the aim of consolidating the organization’s integrationist objectives.

For now, Surinam and St. Lucia were incorporated as special invitees, as set out in the approved resolution which allows them to initiate the process of their full membership of ALBA.

The presence of the Republic of Haiti as a permanent special invitee was also ratified.

President Chávez then asked for priority to be given to the Caribbean economies, given that they are more fragile, as he stated, while acknowledging their productive, tourist, fishing and agricultural potential.

In one of his speeches, the host President emphasized the work of the multi-state TELESUR network to bring the truth to the world, recalling the titanic task of portraying what really took place recently in Libya, where network news reporters even received death threats.

He also noted that while the international media was reporting that Muammar al Gaddafi, leader of the Green Revolution, was bombing the civilian population in Tripoli Plaza, TELESUR transmitted images from the plaza demonstrating the falsity of that information.

In the context of media attacks on governments not to the liking of the big powers, Chávez compared the case of Libya with the current situation in Syria, commenting that the international right-wing media had reported that same morning a government-supported massacre in Syria, when in fact it was a terrorist attack on a city. This was in order to have the Syrian government condemned at the UN Security Council.

He called for those present to pay attention to these types of action organized by empires, describing them as one of the greatest current risks in the world, given that they are strategies to justify invasion.

At another point, Chávez stated that the Orinoco Oil Belt is currently the principal generator of Venezuela’s integral development, and also in terms of the economic independence of ALBA and Latin America.

“There is oil for 200 years in the Belt,”

he noted, stating that Venezuela has plans this year to increase its oil production from three million to 3.5 million barrels a day, which will facilitate greater flexibility in meeting commitments to ALBA and other programs.

He added that Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) is exporting 1.5 million barrels a day to the United States and recalled that during the 4th Republic, the Venezuelan state company reached the point of buying eight refineries in the United States, from which the country obtained no profit whatsoever.

In a brief digression from Summit issues, the Venezuelan leader asked for a meeting of the PETROCARIBE countries in the next few months to discuss the entry into the group of St. Lucia and Surinam, as their governments have requested.

“PETROCARIBE and ALBA are two distinct mechanisms although they are connected,”

Chávez commented, while highlighting that the former has become an advanced and unprecedented mechanism on the planet.

“We are at a stage which could lead to new advances within PETROCARIBE and ALBA,” he assured.

President Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica congratulated the countries entering the ALBA membership process, and paid tribute to Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro for his vision in creating the organization.

He also noted that the blockade of Cuba is not only against the country itself, but against humanity, for which reason the ALBA countries should express their solidarity and condemn this unjust and criminal policy to which the Cuban people are being subjected.

“This is an organization where we can discuss publicly and openly before our peoples, because there are no secrets, or hidden agendas,”

he noted, alluding to the fact that the Summit sessions were being broadcast live by the Venezuelan state channel. He added that ALBA constitutes the most transparent body currently in existence, where nobody has veto powers and all points of view are respected.

“We are like one sole nation seeking to address the historical problems which we inherited and which we are trying to resolve together,” he stated.

President Evo Morales of the Plurinational State of Bolivia urged leaders to unify their political positions of defense against imperialist media attacks.

“Today, we are members of more regional bodies. As presidents, we should always have a position so that we know what to do in the face of media attacks from capitalism and can plan how to act and express our position to these authorities.”

He emphasized the conjoint solidarity work of ALBA to the benefit of the peoples, which is already bearing its first fruits with the reduction of poverty and illiteracy. He added that the presidents of this alliance are putting politicians to shame. Being a politician today does not mean obtaining personal benefit, but sacrifice, making every effort and being committed to the people. Politics is the science of serving the people, and not serving oneself through them, he noted.

In the case of Bolivia, Morales continued, citizens described whichever politicians were in office as fraudsters set to take advantage of the population. Finally, he called on the presidents to continue working together and in solidarity,

“as that is the great advantage in the hands of the ALBA countries.”

Also discussed in the 11th Summit were the working documents of meetings held by representatives of social movements, political parties and the media in the ALBA member countries.

In this context, President Chávez affirmed,

“Social movements, peoples, political parties… we must place them all in the vanguard, because they are the soul of ALBA.”

Constructing from ALBA

There are many ways of cooperation within ALBA, Chávez emphasized, as his Haitian counterpart, Michael Martelly, signed a cooperation agreement which will allow the two countries to promote trade and complementation, as well as the search for the resources, funding and technology needed to confront and combat extreme poverty in Haiti.

Visibly moved, Martelly, who showed the courtesy of making his speech in Spanish, acknowledged that before being President he was never a politician, but that he had promised his people to change things in Haiti.

“And with this effort, support and collaboration, I am sure that this can be achieved.”

Simple words, listened to attentively, and then the Haitian President moved to the seat occupied by Chávez to embrace him warmly in the name of his people.

The Summit also issued a Special Declaration in honor of the five Cuban heroes, unjustly incarcerated for 13 years in the United States for combating terrorism. The document calls for the release of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, as an act of social and humanitarian justice. It similarly condemns the fact that their sentences were the result of serious legal irregularities motivated by political revenge.

There was also a Special Declaration on the inalienable right of the Puerto Rican people to self-determination and their full independence. The document recalls that Puerto Rico is a Latin American and Caribbean nation with its own unmistakable history, whose rights to sovereignty have been violated by the colonial domination of the United States for more than a century.

It was emphasized that Puerto Rican independence is a matter of concern to Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as for all its forums of coordination and political cooperation, particularly that of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Shortly before the conclusion of the Summit, President Chávez read an official communiqué in which the ALBA member countries reiterated their condemnation of the policy of intervention and destabilization against the Arab Republic of Syria.

“For us, ALBA is the homeland,”

said Chávez, paraphrasing Simón Bolívar minutes before closing this Summit, which took new steps forward in terms of integration and complementarity.

Once again the ALBA countries are promoting ways of increasing the development of this alliance, which did not happen by chance and whose antecedents come from the depths of insurgent America, with roots that are transforming it into a historical project for the construction of the Patria Grande (Grand Homeland). And simply,

“It has been a grand Summit!”

as Raúl stated at the close of the session.

 

Translated by Granma International

Source: Granma

 

 

 

Some key decisions and directions from the XI ALBA Summit

 

1. Approval of a Common Economic Zone

The member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA), Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines unanimously approved the Treaty Eco-ALBA to develop a common economic area with the following:

A bank, to which they agreed to earmark one percent of the international reserves of each member nation of ALBA.

The multilateral fund contributed by member nations, in turn, will enable the use of a single currency by the Unique Regional Compensation System (Sistema Único de Compensación Regional, Sucre).

“This is a union of independent nations and a strategy of fair and equitable development for our people and not for foreign capital,”

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said that the Sucre will help to prevent vulnerability from depending on the use of foreign currencies for trade, and he noted that:

“A commercial zone is not set by decree, facilitating institutions, trade promotion, etc., but above all the will, to seek additional exchanges, adequate, mutually beneficial and those are the actions we must take.”

VIDEO: President Rafael Correa speaks at ALBA

Source: The Citizen

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/feb/06/falklands-argentina-britain-blockade?newsfeed=true

Caribbean countries back Argentina over Falklands with blockade

Commonwealth countries of Antigua-Barbuda and St Vincent-Grenadines among those supporting blocking British ships

Uki Goni and agencies in Buenos Aires
The Guardian, Sunday 5 February 2012

A group of Caribbean countries have agreed to back Buenos Aires and block any ships flying the Falklands flag from docking in their ports, Argentina’s foreign minister Hector Timerman has said.

They include the Commonwealth countries of Antigua-Barbuda and St Vincent-Grenadines, along with Cuba, Nicaragua and Dominica, Timerman said.

Argentina received strong support for its blockade at a meeting in Venezuela of a left-leaning bloc of South American and Caribbean nations.

The Ecuadorian president, Rafael Correa, said: “It is time for Latin America to decide sanctions against this mistaken power that pretends to be imperialist and colonialist in the 21st century.

“I think we have to apply more forceful things. We have to talk about sanctions.”

Argentina hopes that diplomatic and economic measures will pressure Britain to comply with UN resolutions encouraging both countries to negotiate the islands’ sovereignty. Britain has refused so far.

Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, said: “If it should occur to the British empire to attack Argentina militarily, Argentina won’t be alone this time.

“Venezuela is no power, but we’ve got some weapons and the will to face any imperialist aggression.”

Tensions have risen as the 30th anniversary of Argentina’s invasion nears.

Source:  The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/feb/06/falklands-argentina-britain-blockade?newsfeed=true

 

 

Presidente Correa exhorta al ALBA y Unasur a fomentar el comercio para el desarrollo (VIDEO)

Sábado, 04 de Febrero de 2012 21:22 AÁT Presidencia de la República

Caracas (Venezuela).- El Presidente ecuatoriano Rafael Correa Delgado exhortó a los mandatarios de los países miembros de la Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (ALBA), y de la Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (Unasur), para fomentar el comercio para el desarrollo de los pueblos.

“Una zona comercial no se establece por decreto, facilita la institucionalidad, el fomento del comercio, etc., pero es sobre todo la voluntad, buscar intercambios complementarios, adecuados, de mutuo beneficio y esas son las acciones que debemos tomar”, destacó el Mandatario ecuatoriano.

Agregó que aquel instrumento para el intercambio es el Sistema Único de Compensación Regional (SUCRE) el cual impide que se tenga que depender de una moneda extranjera para tales efectos.

“La arquitectura financiera y comercial está bien diseñada dentro del ALBA que básicamente es lo que estamos planteando a nivel de Unasur y debemos hacerlo, son esas cosas evidentes, no sabemos por qué no avanzan más rápido; estamos hablando de una zona comercial, básicamente, eliminar barreras para el comercio, nadie está contra el comercio, sería una barbaridad (que) en el siglo 21 se esté en contra del comercio”, sostuvo.

Correa Delgado expuso la necesidad de fomentar el comercio para el desarrollo, justo entre los países del ALBA “pero también Unasur, tenemos que fomentar el financiamiento, unir nuestras reservas,  nuestras capacidades, en el Banco del ALBA, en Unasur,  en el Banco del Sur y tenemos que evitar el uso de monedas extranjeras para nuestros intercambios, que nos vuelven vulnerables”, indicó. AÁT/Prensa Presidencial

VIDEO: Correa

Fuente: El Ciudadano http://www.elciudadano.gov.ec/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30552:presidente-correa-exhorta-al-alba-y-unasur-a-fomentar-el-comercio-para-el-desarrollo&catid=40:actualidad&Itemid=63

 

Prochaine réunion des chanceliers de l’ALBA en Haïti

Lundi, 06 Février 2012 00:07 HPN

Le président Michel Martelly a participé dimanche au sommet des pays membres de l’Alliance bolivarienne en compagnie des présidents du Venezuela, de Cuba, de l’Equateur, de la Bolivie et du Nicaragua.

Lors de cette rencontre, les pays participants ont décidé d’organiser à Jacmel dans le su-est une réunion des ministres des Affaires étrangères des pays membres de l’ALBA, a appris Haiti Press Network.

La réunion se tiendra les 2 et 3 mars prochains à Jacmel, mais nous ne disposons pas encore d’information sur l’objectif de cette rencontre décidée lors du sommet.

Haïti qui a un rôle d’observateur au sein de l’ALBA n’a apparemment pas encore intégré l’organisation économique et commerciale mise sur pied par le Venezuela.

 

Source: HPN http://www.hpnhaiti.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5404:haiti-venezuela-prochaine-reunion-des-chanceliers-de-lalba-en-haiti&catid=1:politics&Itemid=1

 

ALBA unie derrière Haïti, le Venezuela double son aide

Dimanche, 05 Février 2012 23:56 HPN

Les pays membres de l’Alliance Bolivarienne se sont engagés dimanche lors du sommet de l’organisation tenu à Caracas au Venezuela, à « rester unis pour aider Haïti », ont déclaré les dirigeants des pays membres. A la clôture su sommet, le président Hugo Chavez a promis de doubler l’aide du Venezuela à Haïti.

Les présidents des pays présents au sommet ont ainsi annoncé la création d’un fond humanitaire en faveur d’Haïti. Ils vont aussi augmenter la coopération avec Haïti dans plusieurs domaines, dont l’agriculture, l’éducation, le transport, le tourisme et l’énergie.

Selon le bureau de communication de la présidence, les présidents Martelly et Chavez ont signé un accord de coopération qui vise à accroitre l’aide du Venezuela à Haïti.

Cet accord vise aussi la création de coentreprises pour travailler dans les secteurs de l’agriculture, créer des emplois, augmenter la capacité de la production agricole, à travers laquelle Haïti fournira la main d’œuvre et la terre, et le Venezuela la technologie, l’équipement ainsi que le crédit aux agriculteurs.

En outre, le Venezuela travaillera également avec des compagnies privées pour les encourager à venir investir en Haïti.

D’autre part, dans la cadre d’une coopération avec la Chine, le Venezuela interviendra sur le marché haïtien pour vendre des produits électroménagers et des panneaux solaires fabriqués en Chine à des prix subventionnés pour les petites bourses.

Au cours du sommet les chefs d’Etat présents ont envisagé la possibilité de déposer les réserves internationales des pays membres à la Banque de l’ALBA. Ils pourraient ainsi « aider les petits pays de la région afin de promouvoir leur développement économique et social », a suggéré le président Hugo Chavez.

Source: HPN http://www.hpnhaiti.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5403:haiti-cooperation-alba-unie-derriere-haiti-le-venezuela-double-son-aide&catid=1:politics&Itemid=1

Le Venezuela compte renforcer ses apports à Haïti

lundi 6 février 2012

P-au-P, 6 févr. 2012 [AlterPresse] — Les présidents haïtien, Michel Joseph Martelly, et vénézuélien, Hugo Chavez, ont signé un nouvel accord visant à apporter une nouvelle assistance à Haïti, en plus de l’accord “Petrocaribe” permettant, depuis 2007, d’acquérir les produits pétroliers (suivant des facilités de paiement), informe un communiqué du bureau de la présidence.

Cet accord-cadre, signé le dimanche 5 février 2012 entre les présidents haïtien et vénézuélien, vise un renforcement « des crédits et l’investissement direct dans les domaines de l’agriculture, la production, le développement industriel, l’énergie et le tourisme entre autres », rapporte le document de presse.

L’accord du 5 février 2012 contient aussi des clauses qui permettront au Venezuela d’ouvrir plusieurs magasins électroménagers dans le pays. Les produits y seront vendus à un prix subventionné à la population, toujours selon le document.

La création de coentreprises pour travailler dans les secteurs de l’agriculture, l’augmentation de la capacité de la production agricole, la création d’emplois, le crédit agricole sont, entre autres, des objectifs visés dans l’entente bilatérale.

Dans le cadre du renforcement agricole, la main-d’œuvre sera fournie par Haïti, tandis que le Venezuela apportera le soutien technologique et le financement.

Le président haïtien Michel Joseph Martelly s’est rendu au Venezuela le vendredi 3 février 2012 pour participer au sommet de l’alliance bolivarienne pour les Amériques (Alba).[rh kft rc apr 06/02/2012 13:15]

Source: AlterPresse http://www.alterpresse.org/spip.php?article12341

It has been a grand Summit!
• Affirms President Raúl Castro at the closure of
the 11th ALBA Summit

Yaima Puig Meneses

CARACAS, Venezuela.— Solidarity, cooperation, complementarity, reciprocity, sustainability, technological sovereignty and economic union, are the fundamental principles behind the work of ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America) for more than seven years.

It has been a grand Summit!And with precisely the clear proposition of consolidating Latin America and Caribbean sisterhood the final session of the 11th ALBA Summit took place February 5. Army General Raúl Castro, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, and the other heads of state and government or their representatives, arrived at Miraflores Palace on Sunday morning where they were received by the Venezuela leader, Hugo Chávez Frías.

One of the agenda items was the entry of new countries into ALBA with the aim of consolidating the organization’s integrationist objectives. For now, Surinam and St. Lucia were incorporated as special invitees, as set out in the approved resolution which allows them to initiate the process of their full membership of ALBA. The presence of the Republic of Haiti as a permanent special invitee was also ratified.

President Chávez then asked for priority to be given to the Caribbean economies, given that they are more fragile, as he stated, while acknowledging their productive, tourist, fishing and agricultural potential.

In one of his speeches, the host President emphasized the work of the multi-state Telesur network to bring the truth to the world, recalling the titanic task of portraying what really took place recently in Libya, where network news reporters even received death threats.

He also noted that while the international media was reporting that Muammar al Gaddafi, leader of the Green Revolution, was bombing the civilian population in Tripoli Plaza, Telesur transmitted images from the plaza demonstrating the falsity of that information.

In the context of media attacks on governments not to the liking of the big powers, Chávez compared the case of Libya with the current situation in Syria, commenting that the international right-wing media had reported that same morning a government-supported massacre in Syria, when in fact it was a terrorist attack on a city. This was in order to have the Syrian government condemned at the UN Security Council.

He called for those present to pay attention to these types of action organized by empires, describing them as one of the greatest current risks in the world, given that they are strategies to justify invasion.

President Martelly thanks Chávez for solidarity with Haiti.

At another point, Chávez stated that the Orinoco Oil Belt is currently the principal generator of Venezuela’s integral development, and also in terms of the economic independence of ALBA and Latin America. “There is oil for 200 years in the Belt,” he noted, stating that Venezuela has plans this year to increase its oil production from three million to 3.5 million barrels a day, which will facilitate greater flexibility in meeting commitments to ALBA and other programs.

He added that Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) is exporting 1.5 million barrels a day to the United States and recalled that during the 4th Republic, the Venezuelan state company reached the point of buying eight refineries in the United States, from which the country obtained no profit whatsoever.

In a brief digression from Summit issues, the Venezuelan leader asked for a meeting of the PETROCARIBE countries in the next few months to discuss the entry into the group of St. Lucia and Surinam, as their governments have requested.

“PETROCARIBE and ALBA are two distinct mechanisms although they are connected,” Chávez commented, while highlighting that the former has become an advanced and unprecedented mechanism on the planet. “We are at a stage which could lead to new advances within PETROCARIBE and ALBA,” he assured.

President Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica congratulated the countries entering the ALBA membership process, and paid tribute to Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro for his vision in creating the organization.

He also noted that the blockade of Cuba is not only against the country itself, but against humanity, for which reason the ALBA countries should express their solidarity and condemn this unjust and criminal policy to which the Cuban people are being subjected.

“This is an organization where we can discuss publicly and openly before our peoples, because there are no secrets, or hidden agendas,” he noted, alluding to the fact that the Summit sessions were being broadcast live by the Venezuelan state channel. He added that ALBA constitutes the most transparent body currently in existence, where nobody has veto powers and all points of view are respected. “We are like one sole nation seeking to address the historical problems which we inherited and which we are trying to resolve together,” he stated.

President Evo Morales of the Plurinational State of Bolivia urged leaders to unify their political positions of defense against imperialist media attacks.

“Today, we are members of more regional bodies. As presidents, we should always have a position so that we know what to do in the face of media attacks from capitalism and can plan how to act and express our position to these authorities.”

He emphasized the conjoint solidarity work of ALBA to the benefit of the peoples, which is already bearing its first fruits with the reduction of poverty and illiteracy. He added that the presidents of this alliance are putting politicians to shame. Being a politician today does not mean obtaining personal benefit, but sacrifice, making every effort and being committed to the people. Politics is the science of serving the people, and not serving oneself through them, he noted.

In the case of Bolivia, Morales continued, citizens described whichever politicians were in office as fraudsters set to take advantage of the population. Finally, he called on the presidents to continue working together and in solidarity, “as that is the great advantage in the hands of the ALBA countries.”

Also discussed in the 11th Summit were the working documents of meetings held by representatives of social movements, political parties and the media in the ALBA member countries.

In this context, President Chávez affirmed, “Social movements, peoples, political parties… we must place them all in the vanguard, because they are the soul of ALBA.”

CONSTRUCTING FROM ALBA

There are many ways of cooperation within ALBA, Chávez emphasized, as his Haitian counterpart, Michael Martelly, signed a cooperation agreement which will allow the two countries to promote trade and complementation, as well as the search for the resources, funding and technology needed to confront and combat extreme poverty in Haiti.

Visibly moved, Martelly, who showed the courtesy of making his speech in Spanish, acknowledged that before being President he was never a politician, but that he had promised his people to change things in Haiti. “And with this effort, support and collaboration, I am sure that this can be achieved.”

Simple words, listened to attentively, and then the Haitian President moved to the seat occupied by Chávez to embrace him warmly in the name of his people.

The Summit also issued a Special Declaration in honor of the five Cuban heroes, unjustly incarcerated for 13 years in the United States for combating terrorism. The document calls for the release of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, as an act of social and humanitarian justice. It similarly condemns the fact that their sentences were the result of serious legal irregularities motivated by political revenge.

There was also a Special Declaration on the inalienable right of the Puerto Rican people to self-determination and their full independence. The document recalls that Puerto Rico is a Latin American and Caribbean nation with its own unmistakable history, whose rights to sovereignty have been violated by the colonial domination of the United States for more than a century.

It was emphasized that Puerto Rican independence is a matter of concern to Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as for all its forums of coordination and political cooperation, particularly that of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Shortly before the conclusion of the Summit, President Chávez read an official communiqué in which the ALBA member countries reiterated their condemnation of the policy of intervention and destabilization against the Arab Republic of Syria.

“For us, ALBA is the homeland,” said Chávez, paraphrasing Simón Bolívar minutes before closing this Summit, which took new steps forward in terms of integration and complementarity.

Once again the ALBA countries are promoting ways of increasing the development of this alliance, which did not happen by chance and whose antecedents come from the depths of insurgent America, with roots that are transforming it into a historical project for the construction of the Patria Grande (Grand Homeland). And simply, “It has been a grand Summit!” as Raúl stated at the close of the session.

Translated by Granma International

Source: Granma http://www.granma.cu/ingles/cuba-i/6febre-It%20has%20been.html

Some key decisions and directions from the XI ALBA Summit

 

1. Approval of a Common Economic Zone

The member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA), Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines unanimously approved the Treaty Eco-ALBA to develop a common economic area with the following:

A bank, to which they agreed to earmark one percent of the international reserves of each member nation of ALBA.

The multilateral fund contributed by member nations, in turn, will enable the use of a single currency by the Unique Regional Compensation System (Sistema Único de Compensación Regional, Sucre).

“This is a union of independent nations and a strategy of fair and equitable development for our people and not for foreign capital,”

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said that the Sucre will help to prevent vulnerability from depending on the use of foreign currencies for trade, and he noted that:

“A commercial zone is not set by decree, facilitating institutions, trade promotion, etc., but above all the will, to seek additional exchanges, adequate, mutually beneficial and those are the actions we must take.”

VIDEO: President Rafael Correa speaks at ALBA

Source: The Citizen

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/feb/06/falklands-argentina-britain-blockade?newsfeed=true

Caribbean countries back Argentina over Falklands with blockade

Commonwealth countries of Antigua-Barbuda and St Vincent-Grenadines among those supporting blocking British ships

Uki Goni and agencies in Buenos Aires
The Guardian, Sunday 5 February 2012

A group of Caribbean countries have agreed to back Buenos Aires and block any ships flying the Falklands flag from docking in their ports, Argentina’s foreign minister Hector Timerman has said.

They include the Commonwealth countries of Antigua-Barbuda and St Vincent-Grenadines, along with Cuba, Nicaragua and Dominica, Timerman said.

Argentina received strong support for its blockade at a meeting in Venezuela of a left-leaning bloc of South American and Caribbean nations.

The Ecuadorian president, Rafael Correa, said: “It is time for Latin America to decide sanctions against this mistaken power that pretends to be imperialist and colonialist in the 21st century.

“I think we have to apply more forceful things. We have to talk about sanctions.”

Argentina hopes that diplomatic and economic measures will pressure Britain to comply with UN resolutions encouraging both countries to negotiate the islands’ sovereignty. Britain has refused so far.

Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, said: “If it should occur to the British empire to attack Argentina militarily, Argentina won’t be alone this time.

“Venezuela is no power, but we’ve got some weapons and the will to face any imperialist aggression.”

Tensions have risen as the 30th anniversary of Argentina’s invasion nears.

Source:  The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/feb/06/falklands-argentina-britain-blockade?newsfeed=true

 

 

Presidente Correa exhorta al ALBA y Unasur a fomentar el comercio para el desarrollo (VIDEO)

Sábado, 04 de Febrero de 2012 21:22 AÁT Presidencia de la República

Caracas (Venezuela).- El Presidente ecuatoriano Rafael Correa Delgado exhortó a los mandatarios de los países miembros de la Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (ALBA), y de la Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (Unasur), para fomentar el comercio para el desarrollo de los pueblos.

“Una zona comercial no se establece por decreto, facilita la institucionalidad, el fomento del comercio, etc., pero es sobre todo la voluntad, buscar intercambios complementarios, adecuados, de mutuo beneficio y esas son las acciones que debemos tomar”, destacó el Mandatario ecuatoriano.

Agregó que aquel instrumento para el intercambio es el Sistema Único de Compensación Regional (SUCRE) el cual impide que se tenga que depender de una moneda extranjera para tales efectos.

“La arquitectura financiera y comercial está bien diseñada dentro del ALBA que básicamente es lo que estamos planteando a nivel de Unasur y debemos hacerlo, son esas cosas evidentes, no sabemos por qué no avanzan más rápido; estamos hablando de una zona comercial, básicamente, eliminar barreras para el comercio, nadie está contra el comercio, sería una barbaridad (que) en el siglo 21 se esté en contra del comercio”, sostuvo.

Correa Delgado expuso la necesidad de fomentar el comercio para el desarrollo, justo entre los países del ALBA “pero también Unasur, tenemos que fomentar el financiamiento, unir nuestras reservas,  nuestras capacidades, en el Banco del ALBA, en Unasur,  en el Banco del Sur y tenemos que evitar el uso de monedas extranjeras para nuestros intercambios, que nos vuelven vulnerables”, indicó. AÁT/Prensa Presidencial

VIDEO: Correa

Fuente: El Ciudadano http://www.elciudadano.gov.ec/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30552:presidente-correa-exhorta-al-alba-y-unasur-a-fomentar-el-comercio-para-el-desarrollo&catid=40:actualidad&Itemid=63

 

Prochaine réunion des chanceliers de l’ALBA en Haïti

Lundi, 06 Février 2012 00:07 HPN

Le président Michel Martelly a participé dimanche au sommet des pays membres de l’Alliance bolivarienne en compagnie des présidents du Venezuela, de Cuba, de l’Equateur, de la Bolivie et du Nicaragua.

Lors de cette rencontre, les pays participants ont décidé d’organiser à Jacmel dans le su-est une réunion des ministres des Affaires étrangères des pays membres de l’ALBA, a appris Haiti Press Network.

La réunion se tiendra les 2 et 3 mars prochains à Jacmel, mais nous ne disposons pas encore d’information sur l’objectif de cette rencontre décidée lors du sommet.

Haïti qui a un rôle d’observateur au sein de l’ALBA n’a apparemment pas encore intégré l’organisation économique et commerciale mise sur pied par le Venezuela.

 

Source: HPN http://www.hpnhaiti.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5404:haiti-venezuela-prochaine-reunion-des-chanceliers-de-lalba-en-haiti&catid=1:politics&Itemid=1

 

ALBA unie derrière Haïti, le Venezuela double son aide

Dimanche, 05 Février 2012 23:56 HPN

Les pays membres de l’Alliance Bolivarienne se sont engagés dimanche lors du sommet de l’organisation tenu à Caracas au Venezuela, à « rester unis pour aider Haïti », ont déclaré les dirigeants des pays membres. A la clôture su sommet, le président Hugo Chavez a promis de doubler l’aide du Venezuela à Haïti.

Les présidents des pays présents au sommet ont ainsi annoncé la création d’un fond humanitaire en faveur d’Haïti. Ils vont aussi augmenter la coopération avec Haïti dans plusieurs domaines, dont l’agriculture, l’éducation, le transport, le tourisme et l’énergie.

Selon le bureau de communication de la présidence, les présidents Martelly et Chavez ont signé un accord de coopération qui vise à accroitre l’aide du Venezuela à Haïti.

Cet accord vise aussi la création de coentreprises pour travailler dans les secteurs de l’agriculture, créer des emplois, augmenter la capacité de la production agricole, à travers laquelle Haïti fournira la main d’œuvre et la terre, et le Venezuela la technologie, l’équipement ainsi que le crédit aux agriculteurs.

En outre, le Venezuela travaillera également avec des compagnies privées pour les encourager à venir investir en Haïti.

D’autre part, dans la cadre d’une coopération avec la Chine, le Venezuela interviendra sur le marché haïtien pour vendre des produits électroménagers et des panneaux solaires fabriqués en Chine à des prix subventionnés pour les petites bourses.

Au cours du sommet les chefs d’Etat présents ont envisagé la possibilité de déposer les réserves internationales des pays membres à la Banque de l’ALBA. Ils pourraient ainsi « aider les petits pays de la région afin de promouvoir leur développement économique et social », a suggéré le président Hugo Chavez.

Source: HPN http://www.hpnhaiti.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5403:haiti-cooperation-alba-unie-derriere-haiti-le-venezuela-double-son-aide&catid=1:politics&Itemid=1

Le Venezuela compte renforcer ses apports à Haïti

lundi 6 février 2012

P-au-P, 6 févr. 2012 [AlterPresse] — Les présidents haïtien, Michel Joseph Martelly, et vénézuélien, Hugo Chavez, ont signé un nouvel accord visant à apporter une nouvelle assistance à Haïti, en plus de l’accord “Petrocaribe” permettant, depuis 2007, d’acquérir les produits pétroliers (suivant des facilités de paiement), informe un communiqué du bureau de la présidence.

Cet accord-cadre, signé le dimanche 5 février 2012 entre les présidents haïtien et vénézuélien, vise un renforcement « des crédits et l’investissement direct dans les domaines de l’agriculture, la production, le développement industriel, l’énergie et le tourisme entre autres », rapporte le document de presse.

L’accord du 5 février 2012 contient aussi des clauses qui permettront au Venezuela d’ouvrir plusieurs magasins électroménagers dans le pays. Les produits y seront vendus à un prix subventionné à la population, toujours selon le document.

La création de coentreprises pour travailler dans les secteurs de l’agriculture, l’augmentation de la capacité de la production agricole, la création d’emplois, le crédit agricole sont, entre autres, des objectifs visés dans l’entente bilatérale.

Dans le cadre du renforcement agricole, la main-d’œuvre sera fournie par Haïti, tandis que le Venezuela apportera le soutien technologique et le financement.

Le président haïtien Michel Joseph Martelly s’est rendu au Venezuela le vendredi 3 février 2012 pour participer au sommet de l’alliance bolivarienne pour les Amériques (Alba).[rh kft rc apr 06/02/2012 13:15]

Source: AlterPresse http://www.alterpresse.org/spip.php?article12341

It has been a grand Summit!
• Affirms President Raúl Castro at the closure of
the 11th ALBA Summit

Yaima Puig Meneses

CARACAS, Venezuela.— Solidarity, cooperation, complementarity, reciprocity, sustainability, technological sovereignty and economic union, are the fundamental principles behind the work of ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America) for more than seven years.

It has been a grand Summit!And with precisely the clear proposition of consolidating Latin America and Caribbean sisterhood the final session of the 11th ALBA Summit took place February 5. Army General Raúl Castro, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, and the other heads of state and government or their representatives, arrived at Miraflores Palace on Sunday morning where they were received by the Venezuela leader, Hugo Chávez Frías.

One of the agenda items was the entry of new countries into ALBA with the aim of consolidating the organization’s integrationist objectives. For now, Surinam and St. Lucia were incorporated as special invitees, as set out in the approved resolution which allows them to initiate the process of their full membership of ALBA. The presence of the Republic of Haiti as a permanent special invitee was also ratified.

President Chávez then asked for priority to be given to the Caribbean economies, given that they are more fragile, as he stated, while acknowledging their productive, tourist, fishing and agricultural potential.

In one of his speeches, the host President emphasized the work of the multi-state Telesur network to bring the truth to the world, recalling the titanic task of portraying what really took place recently in Libya, where network news reporters even received death threats.

He also noted that while the international media was reporting that Muammar al Gaddafi, leader of the Green Revolution, was bombing the civilian population in Tripoli Plaza, Telesur transmitted images from the plaza demonstrating the falsity of that information.

In the context of media attacks on governments not to the liking of the big powers, Chávez compared the case of Libya with the current situation in Syria, commenting that the international right-wing media had reported that same morning a government-supported massacre in Syria, when in fact it was a terrorist attack on a city. This was in order to have the Syrian government condemned at the UN Security Council.

He called for those present to pay attention to these types of action organized by empires, describing them as one of the greatest current risks in the world, given that they are strategies to justify invasion.

President Martelly thanks Chávez for solidarity with Haiti.

At another point, Chávez stated that the Orinoco Oil Belt is currently the principal generator of Venezuela’s integral development, and also in terms of the economic independence of ALBA and Latin America. “There is oil for 200 years in the Belt,” he noted, stating that Venezuela has plans this year to increase its oil production from three million to 3.5 million barrels a day, which will facilitate greater flexibility in meeting commitments to ALBA and other programs.

He added that Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) is exporting 1.5 million barrels a day to the United States and recalled that during the 4th Republic, the Venezuelan state company reached the point of buying eight refineries in the United States, from which the country obtained no profit whatsoever.

In a brief digression from Summit issues, the Venezuelan leader asked for a meeting of the PETROCARIBE countries in the next few months to discuss the entry into the group of St. Lucia and Surinam, as their governments have requested.

“PETROCARIBE and ALBA are two distinct mechanisms although they are connected,” Chávez commented, while highlighting that the former has become an advanced and unprecedented mechanism on the planet. “We are at a stage which could lead to new advances within PETROCARIBE and ALBA,” he assured.

President Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica congratulated the countries entering the ALBA membership process, and paid tribute to Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro for his vision in creating the organization.

He also noted that the blockade of Cuba is not only against the country itself, but against humanity, for which reason the ALBA countries should express their solidarity and condemn this unjust and criminal policy to which the Cuban people are being subjected.

“This is an organization where we can discuss publicly and openly before our peoples, because there are no secrets, or hidden agendas,” he noted, alluding to the fact that the Summit sessions were being broadcast live by the Venezuelan state channel. He added that ALBA constitutes the most transparent body currently in existence, where nobody has veto powers and all points of view are respected. “We are like one sole nation seeking to address the historical problems which we inherited and which we are trying to resolve together,” he stated.

President Evo Morales of the Plurinational State of Bolivia urged leaders to unify their political positions of defense against imperialist media attacks.

“Today, we are members of more regional bodies. As presidents, we should always have a position so that we know what to do in the face of media attacks from capitalism and can plan how to act and express our position to these authorities.”

He emphasized the conjoint solidarity work of ALBA to the benefit of the peoples, which is already bearing its first fruits with the reduction of poverty and illiteracy. He added that the presidents of this alliance are putting politicians to shame. Being a politician today does not mean obtaining personal benefit, but sacrifice, making every effort and being committed to the people. Politics is the science of serving the people, and not serving oneself through them, he noted.

In the case of Bolivia, Morales continued, citizens described whichever politicians were in office as fraudsters set to take advantage of the population. Finally, he called on the presidents to continue working together and in solidarity, “as that is the great advantage in the hands of the ALBA countries.”

Also discussed in the 11th Summit were the working documents of meetings held by representatives of social movements, political parties and the media in the ALBA member countries.

In this context, President Chávez affirmed, “Social movements, peoples, political parties… we must place them all in the vanguard, because they are the soul of ALBA.”

CONSTRUCTING FROM ALBA

There are many ways of cooperation within ALBA, Chávez emphasized, as his Haitian counterpart, Michael Martelly, signed a cooperation agreement which will allow the two countries to promote trade and complementation, as well as the search for the resources, funding and technology needed to confront and combat extreme poverty in Haiti.

Visibly moved, Martelly, who showed the courtesy of making his speech in Spanish, acknowledged that before being President he was never a politician, but that he had promised his people to change things in Haiti. “And with this effort, support and collaboration, I am sure that this can be achieved.”

Simple words, listened to attentively, and then the Haitian President moved to the seat occupied by Chávez to embrace him warmly in the name of his people.

The Summit also issued a Special Declaration in honor of the five Cuban heroes, unjustly incarcerated for 13 years in the United States for combating terrorism. The document calls for the release of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, as an act of social and humanitarian justice. It similarly condemns the fact that their sentences were the result of serious legal irregularities motivated by political revenge.

There was also a Special Declaration on the inalienable right of the Puerto Rican people to self-determination and their full independence. The document recalls that Puerto Rico is a Latin American and Caribbean nation with its own unmistakable history, whose rights to sovereignty have been violated by the colonial domination of the United States for more than a century.

It was emphasized that Puerto Rican independence is a matter of concern to Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as for all its forums of coordination and political cooperation, particularly that of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Shortly before the conclusion of the Summit, President Chávez read an official communiqué in which the ALBA member countries reiterated their condemnation of the policy of intervention and destabilization against the Arab Republic of Syria.

“For us, ALBA is the homeland,” said Chávez, paraphrasing Simón Bolívar minutes before closing this Summit, which took new steps forward in terms of integration and complementarity.

Once again the ALBA countries are promoting ways of increasing the development of this alliance, which did not happen by chance and whose antecedents come from the depths of insurgent America, with roots that are transforming it into a historical project for the construction of the Patria Grande (Grand Homeland). And simply, “It has been a grand Summit!” as Raúl stated at the close of the session.

Translated by Granma International

Source: Granma http://www.granma.cu/ingles/cuba-i/6febre-It%20has%20been.html

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