Revitalizing the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America is a Strategic Necessity

The Political Council of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) began its eighteenth session this Tuesday, May 21 in Havana.

Foreign ministers from Venezuela, Bolivia, El Salvador and Cuba preside over the meeting of the integration bloc, which began at 3:00 p.m. in the Protocol Room of El Laguito, with the objective of agreeing on political actions against threats to regional peace and security.

The meeting took place at a time when imperialism is trying to re-establish the Monroe Doctrine, neoliberalism and McCarthyism. In the face of these threats, our America rises, guided by Bolívar and Martí, said Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla in his inaugural speech.

“The subject of peace does not admit ambiguous vocabulary,” he said.

Bruno Rodríguez: ALBA is and will remain a resistance

The speech of the Cuban Foreign Minister, host of the regional meeting, firmly exposed Cuba’s position on the complex situation in Latin America and the Caribbean in this era of interference and blackmail.

Threats and the use of force against Venezuela constitute the most serious danger to regional peace and security, warned Bruno Rodríguez.

We consider inadmissible the imposition of political models alien to any of our peoples, he said.

“ALBA is and will be a resistance to the neoliberal wave that is unleashed against our region on the ethical foundations of Fidel and Chávez.

Bruno Rodriguez recognized that the imperialist aggression has strengthened the unity and agreement of Latin American countries.

“It is necessary to emphasize everything that unites us and not underestimate the strength of ALBA -which will continue as an alliance-. Cuba gives priority to integration and salutes the pro tempore presidency of Bolivia, we reiterate that it will count on the full support of our peoples and governments.

The Cuban diplomat confirmed that a broad international movement in favor of Venezuela has been generated.

However, he took the opportunity to call again “social movements, popular movements, non-governmental organizations, all sectors of our peoples to exert influence on governments and oppose U.S. interventionism.

“Since the meeting of the Political Council of ALBA-TCP, we reject all methods of intervention that seek to alter the security and peace of our peoples.

“Faced with the return of U.S. military interventionism, the intensification of economic sanctions, the attack on the life of Nicolas Maduro, the sabotage of the national electricity system, the simulation of humanitarian aid for political purposes, the attempt to create incidents in border areas, the occupation of the Caracas embassy in Washington – in brutal violation of diplomatic conventions – will not reduce our efforts to defend our right to self-determination.

Bruno Rodriguez supported the dialogue initiatives promoted by Mexico, CARICOM and Uruguay in the Montevideo Mechanism. “We favor any initiative attached to international law that contributes to Venezuelans in the exercise of their sovereignty and self-determination to find solutions.

“The resistance of the Venezuelan people throughout this year of intense sanctions has been admirable,” he said.

However, he took the opportunity to call again “social movements, popular movements, non-governmental organizations, all sectors of our peoples to exert influence on governments and oppose U.S. interventionism.

“Since the meeting of the Political Council of ALBA-TCP, we reject all methods of intervention that seek to alter the security and peace of our peoples.

“Faced with the return of U.S. military interventionism, the intensification of economic sanctions, the attack on the life of Nicolas Maduro, the sabotage of the national electricity system, the simulation of humanitarian aid for political purposes, the attempt to create incidents in border areas, the occupation of the Caracas embassy in Washington – in brutal violation of diplomatic conventions – will not reduce our efforts to defend our right to self-determination.

Bruno Rodriguez supported the dialogue initiatives promoted by Mexico, CARICOM and Uruguay in the Montevideo Mechanism. “We favor any initiative attached to international law that contributes to Venezuelans in the exercise of their sovereignty and self-determination to find solutions.

“The resistance of the Venezuelan people throughout this year of intense sanctions has been admirable,” he said.

Jorge Arreaza: It’s Time to Raise the Alarms of Peoples and Governments

Arreaza thanked the Caribbean nation for organizing this meeting, which he described as pertinent to the new onslaught of imperialism against Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.

“Unfortunately, when a government in the United States exposes and gives new validity to an anachronistic, meaningless and raised doctrine (Monroe) at the beginning of the second decade of the nineteenth century, it is time to raise the alerts of the peoples and governments,” he said.

The head of Venezuelan diplomacy said that our continent is a territory in historical dispute because of its wealth and potential. In the case of his country, this interest has become palpable in recent years, bearing in mind that it is the territory with the largest oil reserve in the world and an immense reserve of gas, iron, gold, diamonds, as well as an extraordinary geographical position. Moreover, because it is “a rebellious people who want to be master of their destiny”.

“It is unacceptable for this dominant elite, supremacist, anti-Latin American and anti-South, that there is in such a rich territory a process of independence, of sovereignty,” he added.

He alluded to the continued coup d’etat that his country has lived through in recent times, which has included political violence driven by an opposition subjugated to the U.S. empire. It is, he said, “a historic conflict that we must continue to manage.

He recalled that this May 20 commemorated the first year of the re-election of Nicolás Maduro, who won with 67% of the votes. However, the opposition questioned the legitimacy of the process.

The chancellor denounced the protagonism of the U.S. government in the coup d’état against Venezuela, the last episode of which took place on April 30 when the self-proclaimed president Juan Guaidó announced Operation Liberty, to “put an end to the usurpation” of power by Chávez in Venezuela.

However, this attempt had no result, “there was no popular or military support,” said Arreaza.

He declared the existence of Venezuelan and Colombian paramilitaries training in Colombian territory to attack Venezuela. “We are the object of a permanent threat of military aggression on the part of the most dangerous army that humanity has ever known, which is the U.S. army.

He also referred to the economic war that the U.S. is imposing against Venezuela. He specified that his country, with a fundamentally export economy, is almost prevented from using the dollar in its transactions to buy food, medicine or supplies. For example, in a bank in Portugal, 1.547 billion dollars remain blocked.

In Arreaza’s words, this imperialist strategy has tried to dissolve Latin American integration mechanisms. He recognized the need to reactivate UNASUR, as well as CELAC, which has slowed its pace. “It is necessary to make an effort to promote it, especially when Bolivia has its presidency pro tempore.

He called on the United States to resolve the differences through diplomacy, to end the military threat and the blockade against Cuba and Venezuela. “I hope they (the U.S.) understand that we want dialogue and understanding. We are a country in resistance that knows how to defend its sovereignty.

Bolivian Chancellor: “There is a real attack on progressive countries”.

Bolivian Foreign Minister Diego Pary agreed that there is a complex regional context in which there is a real attack on progressive countries. “But we are sure that our peoples will know how to overcome in order to move forward.

“In this scenario, multilateralism and international law are under threat, and it is a task to defend them because only in this way will we have the possibility of working in equality,” he said.

He applauded the efforts promoted by ALBA as a space for revolutionary struggle. He also expressed the commitment of Bolivia – which holds the pro tempore presidency of CELAC – to promote the casusas of the peoples and strengthen unity.

“The most important thing is unity to continue fighting against the threats of the imperial powers,” he said.

He moved his country’s permanent support to Venezuela, “at a time when the forces of the right have united to attack that South American nation economically and financially.

“The only way we consider to solve that country’s internal difficulties is through dialogue and negotiation. There is no other mechanism.

He acknowledged Cuba’s progress and the approval of its new Constitution, the letter of which expresses a vision of solidarity and integration. He also condemned the blockade imposed by the United States against the island.

ALBA-TCP Member Countries and Background

The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) emerged on December 14, 2004 as an alternative to the Free Trade Area of the Americas, proposed by the United States. It is currently made up of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Grenada and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Last December, Havana also hosted the 16th Alba Summit, the final declaration of which advocated a commitment to political agreement, integration and multilateralism and repudiated interventionism and unilateral coercive actions.

On 8 November 2018, the XVII Political Council of ALBA-TCP met in Managua, thus giving necessary support to Sandinista Nicaragua.

ALBA-TCP is a bulwark of respect and defence of the postulates of the proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, adopted by the Heads of State and Government at the II CELAC Summit held in Havana on 28 and 29 January 2014.

Functions of the Political Council

  • Issuance of declarations and decisions
  • Definition and discussion of agendas and strategies for political, economic and social concertation among ALBA-TCP members in the different forums.
  • Guidance and approval of the work of the Political Commission and Permanent Coordination of ALBA-TCP.
  • Receives information on the activities of other ministerial councils and other bodies; issues opinions and suggestions on their respective work.
  • Evaluates and approves draft agendas and documents proposed by the Political Commission and the Permanent Coordinator to be submitted to the Presidential Councils.
  • Review and approval of the proposed structure and functions of the ALBA-TCP bodies, at all levels, and evaluation of the proposals and decisions with strategic political impact, emanating from the
  • Economic Council, the Social Council and other ALBA-TCP bodies.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the grand-national projects under its jurisdiction.
  • Promote the execution of grand-national projects prioritized by its competence.

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