April 20th, 2010
CARACAS, April 19.— Member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA), agreed today in Venezuela to consolidate their integration and sovereignty in the interest of constructing the road to socialism, PL reported.
At the final event of the 9th ALBA Summit, in Caracas’ Teresa Carreño Theater, the heads of state and government of Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and Venezuela, ratified these objectives in a document titled “Bicentennial Manifesto of Caracas: Consolidating the New Independence.”
Via its text, the leaders state that attaining planned goals lies in achieving full justice and liberating themselves from foreign interventionism and submission to imperial mandates.
They also confirm their decision to continue promoting the defense of human rights, the environment and the construction of an independent, developed, and socialist economic base. The document also reflects the will to construct the ALBA nations as a space of equality, social well-being, and the overcoming of poverty.
In addition, the manifesto convenes the next ALBA-TC Summit with indigenous authorities and those of African descent for June 3-4 in Imbabura, Ecuador. They also highlighted their decision to create the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and offered support to Venezuela as host country of a summit to bring that community to fruition in 2011.
Previously, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez inaugurated the 9th Extraordinary ALBA Summit with words of welcome for his colleagues from Bolivia, Evo Morales; Cuba, Raúl Castro; Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega; Ecuador, Rafael Correa, and Prime Ministers Ralph Gonsalves, St. Vincent & the Grenadines; Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica; and Baldwin Spencer, Antigua & Barbuda.
Reflecting upon the significance of ALBA, founded in 2004, he assured that “it is the alternative” for achieving real independence.
“Thus, we have to care for it [ALBA], protect it, and advance in our plans and projects. There is a danger in waiting; we cannot wait,” the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution stated.
Along these lines, he emphasized the need for presidents and heads of government, as well as the peoples of ALBA, to care for and defend the regional integration organization from the constant threats that it is receiving from the empire and governments subordinate to the United States.
Likewise, he signaled that it is important to continue firmly demanding an end to the blockade of Cuba and the release of the five Cuban heroes imprisoned by the empire.
For his part, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, in his speech at this momentous event, exhorted everybody present to win true sovereignty for Latin America.
“Two hundred years ago, our liberators gave us political independence. The nations of this the continent now have to win ourselves economic, cultural, social, scientific, and technological independence,” the president affirmed in his address.
Bolivian President Evo Morales argued that the best banner of struggle against irresponsible capitalism and irrational industrialism is to defend Mother Earth, which the indigenous peoples call Pachamama.
Along these lines he emphasized the importance of the 1st Global Conference of the Peoples on Climate Change, which begins April 20 in Cochabamba, Bolivia. To date, 22,000 people have registered to attend the conference.
Speaking at the meeting, which concluded in the early hours of the morning, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega stated that, while the ALBA initiative for cooperation and integration is advancing, the empire is conspiring and provoking in an attempt to liquidate it.
He emphasized that the new model seeks to give real power to the people and convert them into productive individuals in order to achieve development and leave poverty behind.
He indicated that this is the struggle of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean today, while 200 years ago it was the battlefield for the independence of the nations.
Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of St. Vincent, urged member nations of the Bolivarian alliance to fight against colonialism and imperialism in whatever form they might take, and expressed his confidence that the people of his country and the region understand that ALBA is the way to leave behind underdevelopment, “…it is a cause that cannot be achieved with people who doubt.”
The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer, affirmed to the forum that the alliance is the real future of Latin America and the Caribbean.
“I would like to call on those who are still in doubt to wake up to the reality. We should form part of this magnificent and noble movement,” he stated.
Spencer commented that despite pressure and hostile campaigns, he maintains his decision to continue as part of that integration mechanism.
Addressing the official and invited delegations, Roosevelt Skerrit, prime minister of Dominica, called on the U.S. government to end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba maintained since 1962.
“That blockade is unjust and incorrect and should end,” the prime minister affirmed. For Skerrit, if Barack Obama wishes to go down in history as the finest U.S. president, he should end that unilateral measure.
Translated by Granma International