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Integration Bloc ALBA Stronger for Latin America

After the recently concluded 12th Summit, Latin America has a strengthened Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (), in line with the social movements of the region. The final summit document claims the validity of this integration and complementarity project with the inclusion of Saint Lucia to the regional group.

This ALBA’s statement from the Pacific emphasizes that progressive forces have advanced substantially in the region in recent years, after the failure of neoliberal policies and the will of the facto powers to impose free trade schemes on our people.

The text adds that progress has resulted in an empowerment of the majority starting from increasing militancy in social movements and the rise to power of revolutionary governments in Latin America and the Caribbean.

It also explains that ALBA’s countries do not reject direct foreign investment but do impose an intelligent relationship with it, so that it can be exploited for the benefit of nations, and not optimized at their expense.

It is therefore essential an integration mechanism like ALBA while as bloc we impose conditions to prevent capital interests prevail over those of the population, it says.

ALBA’s members intend to work together for providing free education and health care -as quality public services- for people with disabilities, among others.

It demands a holistic and alternative vision of development, which is not limited to search only trade agreements, but also to ensure productive progress in areas such as energy, intraregional trade, food production, intermediate industries, investments and financing.

The vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers of , Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, who attended this regional meeting, highlighted the virtues that will be generated by the creation of an economic zone linking ALBA to Petrocaribe and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur).

The goal of the Alliance is to integrate more African countries, strengthen economic ties from the cooperativism, without allowing the rule of capital, and continue social and educational programs already developed, said Cuban Vice President.

He remarked the existing consonance between social movements and the ALBA’s leaders, since in the statements of both summits, which met in unison, the approaches and agreements had meeting points.

For two days, in Guayaquil, 200 representatives of ALBA’s social organizations debated and exchanged on topics related to sovereignty of the countries, agrarian revolution, indigenous peoples and Afro-descendance, among others.

Machado Ventura emphasized the political statement made by the leaders against international espionage orchestrated by the U.S. and the condemnation, once again, of the aggression made recently by several European countries to the Bolivian President, Evo Morales, who was forbidden to overfly their airspaces.

The 12th ALBA Summit confirmed that in our countries people rule, so they changed the power relations, said the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa.

The mandate of the citizens, guiding us to govern our countries, generates hatred of the empire, Correa said during the meeting with social movements at the Coliseo Voltaire Paladins Polo.

This event served as close to the international meeting of presidents of nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Correa criticized double standards, falsehood and irony of imperialism, whose existence and presence should not be ignored, said the president.

Likewise, he called social movements to be alert to organizations using the demonstrations and language of these groups to defend the cause permeated by neoliberalism and rule of capital.

“Heart is not enough, we must act intelligently” against attempts to destabilize, he said.

About 10 thousand people representing social movements to ALBA marched through the streets of Guayaquil, in support of Latin American integration, the culmination of the two summits.

In the meeting with the presidents, representatives of these social groups submitted a declaration in which they reaffirmed the proposition of ALBA, Latin America and the Caribbean to be an endogenous territory, not only from the economic point of view but also political, cultural and social.

For his part, the Bolivian President, Evo Morales, said that social movements gave rise to ALBA and now it advances to complementarity and solidarity to express itself together against policies of some countries attempting to resume the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

To the 12th Summit attended heads of state and delegations from governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Ecuador, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Lucia, which are member states.

As special guests, there were representatives of Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Suriname, Guyana and Haiti.

* Correspondent in Ecuador of Prensa Latina News Agency / Source: PL.

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