Venezuela: How the Che Guevara Commune Confronts the Harsh US Blockade

Source: venezuelanalysis.com

December 10 2021

By Cira Pascual Marquina and Chris Gilbert – Venezuelanalysis.com

First-hand accounts of the impact of the US sanctions on a coffee and cocoa growing commune in the Venezuelan Andes.

The Che Guevara Commune lies on the fertile hillsides that rise up from the shores of Lake Maracaibo in western Venezuela. Historically this has been a cocoa-growing region but in more recent years coffee, sugar cane, and pineapple have also become important cash crops. It is a region of much domestic and international migration, and many of the communards have roots in neighboring Colombia, belonging to families that fled political persecution or simply sought a better life in Venezuela.

Through hard work, focused on two productive activities – a lowland cocoa-processing plant (the Che Guevara EPS) and a highland coffee cooperative called Colinas del Mirador (Colimir) – these communards have built a sociopolitical project that has survived all kinds of adversity.

A short flight to Merida’s El Vigia airport and a two-hour drive along the Panamerican Highway brought us to this well-kept commune centered in the village of Mesa Julia (Tucaní township). Our main interest was to see how this commune, with a far-reaching reputation worthy of the revolutionary name it bears, has dealt with the US sanctions and the overall crisis that Venezuela is facing. However, we also wanted to know about their approach to communal construction in general and the longstanding project of a socialist transition in the besieged country.

In the first of this three-part series, we look at the Che Guevara Commune’s creative responses to the challenges thrown up by the sanctions, which include the application of a new fuel-saving technology and developing their own currency.

History of the Che Guevara Commune

Sited on lower foothills of the Andes, the Che Guevara Commune has become well-known for its resilience and productive capacity. Here two committed communards outline the commune’s history, structure, and its key projects.

Ernesto Cruz: We began to work on building the Che Guevara Commune around 2010-2011. At that time, there were ten communal councils involved. After the death of Comandante Chávez in 2013, we managed to register the commune through Fundacomunal [state institution that administers communes].

My aunt, Olga Veracruz, who was politically formed in the midst of the war in Colombia, was the one who proposed calling the commune “Che Guevara.” She is now rather old, but for many years she was very active here. She promoted the organization of communal councils and later the commune.

Olga was a student of Marxism, arranging study groups with local women, and was the force behind a local newspaper with a leftist vision. She left her mark on this commune, proposing that Che Guevara’s conception of solidarity should be a guiding principle for us. That is why we call ourselves the “Che Guevara” Commune.

When the commune was finally registered, we developed several projects, including housing construction. During those early years, we also began to design the project that would become the Che Guevara EPS [EPS means Social Property Enterprise], which is a cocoa processing plant.

Zulai Montilla: The Che Guevara Commune is located in the highlands of the Tucaní municipality, in the Sur del Lago region [Mérida state]. The area has a farming tradition: coffee and cocoa are the main crops grown here, but people also grow plantain and pineapple.

The commune’s territory is home to 1562 families, distributed among fourteen communal councils. Each council chooses a spokesperson who will participate in the commune’s parliament. The parliament monitors the commune’s initiatives and projects. Above the parliament is the assembly, which is the commune’s highest self-government body and the space for making the most fundamental decisions. Anyone who lives in the commune’s territory can participate in the assembly, with equal voice and vote.

There are two active production units in the commune’s territory: the Che Guevara EPS, where cocoa is processed, and the Colinas del Mirador Cooperative [Colimir], to process coffee. Both units have a spokesperson in the communal parliament.Impact of the imperialist blockade and the crisis of capitalism

The US-imposed financial sanctions on Venezuela (2017) and the oil embargo (2019) have had a devastating impact on Venezuelan society. The workers at the Che Guevara Commune explain the blockade’s effects on their lives and on their productive projects.

Douglas Mendoza: The blockade has been hard on us. Here, in the highlands, access to fuel is fundamental. How can a coffee or cocoa farmer take the crop to market if there is no gasoline or if it costs three dollars a liter? Fuel shortages have hurt campesinos very much.

In the last few years, numerous people migrated to Colombia to find work: many sold everything and left the country. Often the older family members remain here and receive a small remittance from relatives abroad. Some people also travel for seasonal work and then come back.

Ernesto Cruz: In the last few months commerce in Tucaní is recovering a little, but there is still not enough work for everybody. At the moment we are seeing a new wave of migration. People are moving toward Caracas, where the service economy is recovering: young people from the area are going to the capital to work in restaurants or retail.

The migration situation should not be surprising: a small cocoa farmer can earn about $500 from a harvest and that is hardly enough to live on. There are few incentives for young people to stay in the area. This has an impact on the population, which is getting more sparse and older.

Zulai Montilla: The commercialization of chocolate is very difficult these days. Selling our production is not easy, due to the pandemic and the gas shortages. Two years ago we had customers coming from Trujillo and Táchira [neighboring states] to buy chocolate, but the fuel shortages mean this is no longer profitable.

As for supplies, fortunately, we have been able to get what we need: cocoa, powdered milk, and sugar. However, it has been hard to get packaging materials to offer a good presentation of our products. We are now working on that angle, and I’m sure that we will improve little by little.

The main problem we have is power outages, because molded chocolate needs refrigeration. If the temperature rises a bonbon or chocolate bar loses its shine and texture, and we have to restart the process. We have to put the chocolate in a bain-marie, then we take it to the mill, and finally we mold it again.

All this impacts our production. Still, we have not stopped: we go through hell and high water to meet our commitments, but we manage. We are fighting to stay on our feet, and we hope to come out stronger.

Ernesto Cruz: We face many challenges on a daily basis as a result of the blockade, the general economic crisis, and the sanctions. Our main obstacles are blackouts and fuel shortages.

Fuel shortages were a major problem until the beginning of this year. Only smuggled gasoline was available, and it cost as much as four dollars a liter. Then things got a little better, and now we can buy gasoline for 90 cents a liter.

The fuel situation has a strong impact on the Che Guevara EPS: it is very difficult for campesinos to bring their cocoa crops to us and private intermediaries take advantage of this. They go directly to a plot of land and offer the campesino a payment that is below the market value… Between losing the crop altogether and selling it cheaply, the producers go for the second option.

On the other hand, here at the processing unit gas scarcity means that getting orders to their destination is difficult. The truth is that there isn’t one single producer who hasn’t been hurt by the fuel shortages.

Electricity is also a bottleneck. In this area, we sometimes have blackouts lasting three days in a row. When the power goes out, mechanized processing stops. That is a problem for us, but there is an added problem: molded chocolate in the refrigeration chamber loses its shine, and we are forced to restart the process.

While there is no denying that the sanctions have been tough on us, we continue to produce, showing that it’s possible to build an alternative from below.

Douglas Mendoza: Many people here have been forced to sell their jeeps, which they used to bring down their harvests of ten or twenty bushels of coffee. Some people have returned to using mules, or carry coffee or cocoa on their motorcycles, two bushels at a time. Others simply have to pay to have their harvest brought down or are forced to sell to unscrupulous middlemen… Still others have simply left the country!

Just today I had to buy five liters of gasoline – at one dollar per liter – for the brush cutter. That’s expensive, but when things were tougher, fuel went as high as four dollars per liter!

The problem is that we depend so much on fuel, especially for the transportation of the crops. So when fuel prices spike, a campesino can go bankrupt.

The US war against Venezuela is terrible. However, we also see problems with the local government. Here we are authentic Chavistas. We are very loyal and will never vote for the opposition, but that doesn’t mean that we applaud our representatives when they do things badly.

Nonetheless, in spite of the war, the contradictions, and other difficulties, we are committed to staying in this beautiful land, working for the family and in the Colimir cooperative, where we also work for the community as a whole.

See full article here

Central American Nations Look to Coordinate Response to Trump

Source:  TeleSUR
November 17 2016

 

As President-elect Trump´s doubles down on his commitment to deport up to three million migrants starting in January, the Presidents of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala look to coordinate their response with Mexico.

morales, ceren y orlando.jpg

Jimmy Morales, President of Guatemala (L), Sanchez Ceren, President of El Salvador (C) and Juan Orlando, President of Honduras

On Wednesday the Presidents of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala issued a joint statement saying they will ask their respective foreign ministries to formulate a collective position on the impact of a Trump presidency on jobs, migration, and investment.

RELATED: Trump Vows to Deport up to 3 Million Undocumented Migrants Immediately

The Foreign Ministry of El Salvador, Hugo Martinez, told Reuters on Wednesday that the three countries would also look to coordinate with Mexico. “What the Presidents told us was that aside from this group … we could expand to look for contact with Mexico, at first, and then also with the other Latin American countries,” Martinez said.

Trump’s impact on the region

Concerns about the impact of a Trump presidency on the region have continued to increase after the U.S. President-elect reiterated his campaign promises to deport millions of migrants and build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Many expect the number of Central American migrants trying to enter the U.S. to rise in the coming months as people try to enter the U.S. before Trump officially takes office in January.

Maria Andrea Matamoros, Honduras’ deputy foreign minister, told Reuters that Trump´s promise of a wall “is the perfect advertising campaign for a human trafficker, and now, with the election of Trump, that has magnified, and we’re already seeing – incredibly – a rise in the flow of migrants,” she said.

According to a report last year from the Red Cross, migrants from the three Central American nations, referred to as the Northern Triangle, make up the bulk of migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. An estimated 400 thousand migrants from the three countries attempted to enter the U.S. last year, with almost half of them returned from Mexico.

RELATED:  Central America Tackles Gangs with Tri-National Militarized Border Security Force

The Presidents of the three countries were meeting in Honduras to officially launch a “Trinational Force” of military, police, and intelligence agencies to combat the increasing violence generated by the U.S. funded “War on Drugs” as well as control the flow of migrants. The “Trinational Force” is the militarized wing of the “Prosperity Plan” launched by the Central American countries in 2014 in conjunction with Washington in an attempt to reduce the number of migrants reaching the U.S. border.

Some experts suggest that the criminal organizations controlling the drug trade are increasingly involved in the human smuggling industry, as migrants are forced to flee the devastation left both by U.S. economic policy towards the region and the U.S. funded Drug War.

Barbados to host documentary on English-speaking West Indians who migrated to Cuba in the 1920’s

Barbados: Countdown to October 6, 2016, the 40th anniversary of the terrorist bombing of the Cubana flight 455 from Barbados en route to Jamaica

Source: Clement Payne Movement

danny glover 3.jpegTomorrow, October 4 2016, at 6 pm a number of progressive organizations in Barbados will host the showing of two Cuban documentaries at the Walcott Warner Theatre of the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination.   Special guests will be outstanding African-American actor, Danny Glover, and head of the Caribbean Studies department of Cuba’s Casa de las Americas, Camila Valdez, who will both address the audience.  The event is free of cost, refreshments will be served and a Cubana photo and book exhibition will be on display from 6 pm.

The first documentary will be Los Hijos de Baragua ~ My Footsteps in Baragua 1996, a 53-minute English language documentary about the West Indian community in the town of Baragua in Cuba.  The film offers rare footage of Barbadian, Jamaican and other English-speaking West Indians who migrated to Cuba in the 1920’s, but who maintained their native island cultures and traditions.

Migration and the Caribbean people

migrating to cuba.jpgMigration has been and is a constant theme in the life of the people of the Caribbean. In the municipality of Baragua, in the present province of Ciego de Avila, Cuba, the stories and customs of the English speaking West Indians and their descendants still remain alive. Today, they are a part of Cuba.

For some, there is always the nostalgia for the country to which they will never return; others express their total rootedness in today’s Cuba. The youngest will nevertheless be able to learn of their ancestry and better understand the origins of the English surnames they have.

Family memories of trips from Jamaica, Barbados and other islands

In the style of the documentary are merged family memories in a process very familiar to other Caribbean people: for example, the trip from Jamaica, Barbados, and other islands to Panama and subsequently to Cuba which started the heady development of the sugar industry in the early years of this century.

Two cultures

Direct testimony does not preclude the poetry present in the charm of the environment of the old sugar barracks, the re-creation of the traditional music and dance such as the Maypole, and the use of old photos that allow us an imaginary approach to that past.

These immigrants brought two cultures: that of the English colonizers and the genuine one born under the Caribbean sun with the mixing of African rhythms. In Baragua, all the roots merge into a common trunk. That is how time marked it, and that is what happens with the interlocked cotton trees that are a liet-motif throughout the documentary.

“Kangamba”

fidel recent 1.jpgThe second documentary, Kangamba, is an explosive drama about the Angola War of national liberation that was fought by Cuban and Angolan soldiers against CIA  and Apartheid South Africa-supported counter-revolutionary forces. A tale of courage, heroism and love !  Here is what Fidel had to say about the Kangamba.

“Kangamba is one of the most serious and dramatic films I have ever seen. I watched it on a small television screen but perhaps my judgment is influenced by cherished memories. Hundreds of thousands of Cuban compatriots will have the privilege of watching it on the big screen of movie theaters.

“The Cuban artists’ performance was great. For a moment I thought that the production had required the cooperation of dozens of Angolans. There are scenes that from the humane point of view tear to pieces the contemptuous and racist way in which the imperialists have traditionally approached African culture and habits. There are really unforgettable images of houses in flames after being hit by the rockets with which the South African rulers armed an African ethnic group to fight their Angolan brothers.

“The exploits of our compatriots fighting together with the Angolans in that battlefield were really moving. Their heroic resistance saved them all from death.

“Those who perished did not do so in vain. The South African Army had been defeated in 1976 when Cuba had sent up to 42 thousand combatants to prevent that the Angolan independence, for which that fraternal people had long been fighting, would succumb to the treacherous invasion launched by the apartheid regime whose soldiers were forced to pull out back to the border that had been their point of departure: the colonized Namibia. Shortly after the end of the war and the beginning of the progressive withdrawal of the Cuban combatants under pressure from the Soviet leadership, the South Africans went back to their old ways against Angola.

“The battle of Cuito Cuanavale, four years after that of Kangamba –its real name—and the dramatic situation experienced at that place were the result of a wrong Soviet strategy advised to the Angolan high command. We had always favored preventing the apartheid regime’s army from intervening in Angola. Likewise, at the end of the 1976 war, we were in favor of demanding the independence of Namibia.

“The Soviet Union supplied the weapons while we trained the Angolan combatants and advised their almost neglected brigades involved in fighting the UNITA bandits. This was the case of the 32nd Brigade operating in Cuanza, near the central border to the east of the country.

“We had systematically refused to take part in the offensives carried out almost every year on the hypothetical or real commanding post of Jonas Savimbi, chief of the counterrevolutionary UNITA. This was over 625 miles away from the capital, in the remote Southeast corner of Angola, where they used brigades equipped with shining new Soviet weapons, tanks and sophisticated armored transportation vehicles. The Angolan soldiers and officers were thus uselessly killed when they were deep in the enemy’s territory and the South African air force, long-range artillery and troops intervened.

“This time, after sustaining great losses, the brigades had retreated to a place located 12.5 miles from Cuito Cuanavale, a former NATO air base. It was at that point that our forces in Angola were ordered to send a tank brigade to that place and when the decision was made, on our own, to definitely put an end to the intervention of the South African forces. We then reinforced our troops in Angola sending from Cuba military units equipped with their weapons and the necessary means to accomplish their mission. This time the number of Cuban combatants exceeded the figure of 55 thousand.

“The battle of Cuito Cuanavale, starting on November 1987, was combined with the units already moving towards the Angolan border with Namibia where the third most important war action would take place.

“When an even more dramatic film than Kangamba is made, the movie story will show even more impressive episodes where the massive heroism of Cubans and Angolans shone up to the humiliating defeat of apartheid.

“It was at the end of the last battles when the Cuban combatants took the risk of being hit –this time together with their Angolan brothers—by the nuclear weapons that the US Administration provided to the hateful apartheid regime.

“It would be most appropriate to eventually produce a third film like Kangamba which is presently being shown to our people in the movie theaters of Cuba.

“Meanwhile, the empire is stuck with an economic crisis unparalleled in its decadent history and Bush shouts his head off making absurd speeches. This is what is mostly discussed these days.”

Fidel Castro Ruz
September 30, 2008
7:40 p.m.

 

Raul Castro assesses status of Cuba-US normalization process

Statement by the President of the Councils of State and Ministers Army General Raúl Castro Ruz

” . . . we have achieved some results, particularly in the political, diplomatic and cooperation spheres . . . we have not made any progress in the solution of those issues which are essential for Cuba to be able to have normal relations with the United States . . . “

Declaration by Army General Raúl Castro on the occasion of the first anniversary of the announcements made on December 17, 2014, regarding the decision to reestablish diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States

Source:  internet@granma.cu

December 18, 2015

One year has gone by since the simultaneous announcements made on December 17, 2014, by the presidents of Cuba and the United States to re-establish diplomatic relations between both countries and work to improve our relations.

One year ago, on a day like yesterday, as part of the agreements reached to find a solution to issues of interest for both countries, we were able to announce, to the great joy of all of our people, the return to our homeland of Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio, with which we made true the promise made by Fidel who had asserted that our Five Heroes would return.

Cuban Five return home.jpgOn that same date, in accordance with our reiterated disposition to hold a respectful dialogue with the Government of the United States, on the basis of sovereign equality, to discuss a wide variety of issues in a reciprocal way, without any detriment to our people’s national independence and self-determination, we agreed to take mutual steps to improve the bilateral atmosphere and move on towards the normalization of relations between the two countries.

We have achieved some results

It could be said that, since then, we have achieved some results, particularly in the political, diplomatic and cooperation spheres:

  • Diplomatic relations were re-established and the embassies in both countries were re-opened. These actions were preceded by the rectification of the unjust designation of Cuba as a State sponsor of terrorism.
  • High level meetings and visits have taken place.
  • The already existing cooperation in areas of mutual interest, such as aviation safety and security as well as the combat against drug-trafficking, illegal migration, alien smuggling and migration fraud has been expanded. The regular and respectful meetings between the military commands of Cuba and the United States in the perimeter of the U.S. Naval Base in Guantánamo have continued.
  • New possibilities for bilateral cooperation have opened up in areas of mutual benefit, such as environmental protection, law enforcement, maritime and port security and health.
  • New dialogues have been initiated on bilateral and multilateral topics of interest, such as climate change, mutual compensations, traffic in persons and human rights, this latter being the one on which we have profound differences and about which we are having an exchange on the basis of respect and reciprocity.
  • We have signed agreements on environmental protection and the re-establishment of direct postal services.

All of this has been achieved through a professional and respectful dialogue based on equality and reciprocity.

No progress on issues essential for normalization

Quite on the contrary, this year we have not made any progress in the solution of those issues which are essential for Cuba to be able to have normal relations with the United States.

Although President Obama has repeatedly stated his opposition to the economic, commercial and financial blockade and has urged Congress to lift it, this policy remains in force. The persecution of Cuba’s legitimate financial transactions as well as the extraterritorial impact of the blockade, which causes damages and hardships to our people and is the main obstacle to the development of the Cuban economy, have been tightened.

The steps taken so far by President Obama, although positive, have proved to be limited in scope, which has prevented their implementation. By using his executive prerogatives, the President could expand the scope of the steps that have already been taken and take new steps that would substantially modify the implementation of the blockade.

US illegal occupation of Guantanamo Bay

Despite Cuba’s repeated claim for the return of the territory illegally occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base, the Government of the United States has stated that is has no intention to change the status of that enclave.

The U.S. Government is still implementing programs that are harmful to Cuba’s sovereignty

The U.S. Government is still implementing programs that are harmful to Cuba’s sovereignty, such as the projects aimed at bringing about changes in our political, economic and social order and the illegal radio and television broadcasts, for which they continue to allocate millions of dollars in funds.

US Cuban migration policy encourages an illegal, unsafe, disorderly and irregular migration

A preferential migration policy continues to be applied to Cuban citizens, which is evidenced by the enforcement of the wet foot/dry foot policy, the Medical Professional Parole Program and the Cuban Adjustment Act, which encourage an illegal, unsafe, disorderly and irregular migration, foment human smuggling and other related crimes and create problems to other countries.

The Government of Cuba will continue to reiterate that, in order to normalize relations, it is imperative for the U.S. Government to derogate all these policies that date from the past, which affect the Cuban people and nation and are not in tune with the present bilateral context and the will expressed by both countries to re-establish diplomatic relations and develop respectful and cooperative relations between both peoples and governments.

The right of every State should be respected

No one should expect that, in order to normalize relations with the United States, Cuba will renounce the principles and ideals for which several generations of Cubans have struggled throughout more than half a century. The right of every State to choose the economic, political and social system it wishes, without any interference whatsoever, should be respected.

The Government of Cuba is fully willing to continue advancing in the construction of a kind of relation with the United States that is different from the one that has existed throughout its prior history, that is based on mutual respect for sovereignty and independence, that is beneficial to both countries and peoples and that is nurtured by the historical, cultural and family links that have existed between Cubans and Americans.

Cuba consolidating the achievements attained by the Socialist Revolution

Cuba, in fully exercising its sovereignty and with the majority support of its people, will continue to be engaged in the process of transformations to update its economic and social model, in the interest of moving forward in the development of the country, improving the wellbeing of the people and consolidating the achievements attained by the Socialist Revolution.

Thank you.

Source:  Statement by the President of the Councils of State and Ministers Army General Raúl Castro Ruz

 

Group of 77 Declaration: For a New World Order for Living Well

Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Group of 77
For a New World Order for Living Well
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Plurinational State of Bolivia, 14 and 15 June 2014

official declaration group of 77 june 2014

Declaration

Part I: Overall context

1.       We, the Heads of State and Government of the member States of the Group of 77 and China, have gathered in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Plurinational State of Bolivia, for the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Group.

2.       We commemorate the formation of the Group of 77 on 15 June 1964 and recall the ideals and principles contained in the historic Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Developing Countries, signed at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), held in Geneva.

3.       We recall that the first ever statement of the Group of 77 pledged to promote equality in the international economic and social order and promote the interests of the developing world, declared their unity under a common interest and defined the Group as “an instrument for enlarging the area of cooperative endeavour in the international field and for securing mutually beneficent relationships with the rest of the world”.

4.       We also recall the first Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77, held in Algiers from 10 to 25 October 1964, at which the Group adopted the Charter of Algiers, which established the principles of unity, complementarity, cooperation and solidarity of the developing countries and their determination to strive for economic and social development, individually or collectively.

5.       We highlight that the Group of 77 has provided the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective social and economic interests and enhanced their joint negotiating capacity within the United Nations system, and note with satisfaction that the Group has established a permanent secretariat at United Nations Headquarters in New York and chapters in Geneva, Nairobi, Paris, Rome, Vienna and the Group of 24 in Washington, D.C., and that its membership now stands at 133 member States.

6.       We also recall the successful holding of the first South Summit of the Groupof 77 and China in Havana in April 2000 and the second South Summit in Doha in June 2005, at which the status of the Group of 77 and China was elevated to the level of Heads of State and Government and at which important declarations and plans of action were adopted that have guided our Group and constitute the fundamental basis for the construction of a new world order and an agenda owned by the countries of the South for the establishment of a more just, democratic and equal system that benefits our peoples.

7.       We pledge to continue the tradition of our countries on building national development and uniting at the international level, towards the establishment of a just international order in the world economy that supports developing countries achieve our objectives of sustained economic growth, full employment, social equity, provision of basic goods and services to our people, protection of the environment and living in harmony with nature.

8.       We are proud of the legacy and great achievements of the Group of 77 and China in defending and promoting the interest of the developing countries over the past 50 years, which have contributed gradually to greater strength and influence on economic, social and environmental issues. We pledge to build on this foundation and continue making progress towards a world order that is just, equitable, stable and peaceful. Major landmarks in this regard have been the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order in 1974, the Declaration on the Right to Development in 1986 and several other historic declarations that recognize and address the needs and interests of developing countries and constitute an utmost priority.

9.       We believe in the peaceful settlement of conflicts through dialogue.

10.     We also note that, despite five decades of achievements, there are still serious shortfalls in fulfilling our Group’s objectives, and that our countries individually and collectively now face ongoing and emerging challenges, including the slowdown of the global economy and its effects on our countries and the lack of adequate systemic action and accountability to address the causes and effects of the global financial and economic crises, thus creating the risk of continuing with the pattern of crisis cycles.

11.     We also note the gaps in many of our countries in meeting the needs of employment, food, water, health care, education, housing, physical infrastructure and energy of our people, as well as the looming environmental crisis, including the negative impacts of climate change in developing countries, the increasing shortage of drinking water and the loss of biodiversity.

12.     We stress that imbalances in the global economy and the inequitable structures and outcomes in the trading, financial, monetary and technological systems led to the establishment of our Group. Nevertheless, these imbalances still prevail today in some ways with even more adverse effects on developing countries. Therefore, we pledge to continue and intensify our efforts to strive for a fair, just and equitable international order oriented towards the fulfilment of the development needs of developing countries.

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Costa Rica Hosts CELAC Meeting on Migration

San Jose, Sep 5 (Prensa Latina)

CELAC Costa-RicaThe second meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) on Migration began in this capital today, with interesting proposals that opened the discussion among delegations.

Among the initiatives is the creation of regional consulates in certain parts of the world that deal with the problems of emigrants from CELAC countries, as well as the establishment of mobile consulates to service emigres in distant places.

In addition, the organization of regional consular courses to share knowledge and foster Continue reading