Gathering of Social Movements and Political Forces “FOR PEACE, UNITY AND THE INTEGRATION OF OUR AMERICA”

Invitation

V-Cumbre-Celac.jpgThe social and popular organizations, including trade unions, peasant, youth, student and organizations of solidarity with the peoples in Dominican Republic, call to all organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean to the Meeting of Social Movements and Political Forces “For Peace, Unity and the Integration of our America”

The Meeting of Social Movement and Political Forces will take place prior to the Fifth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and the Caribbean (CELAC). The purpose of the event is to raise our voices against imperialism, to demand sovereignty and self-determination and to defend peace, unity and the integration of our great country. The event will provide a space to reaffirm the popular mobilization and solidarity with all just causes that we defend.

As a result of the discussions that we will engage in, a statement will be issued and will be delivered to the presidents attending the V Summit of the CELAC, as our contribution to the preservation of the principles of community and as a contribution to peace, unity and the integration of our America.

Articulación Nacional Campesina

Justicia Climática

Comité Solidaridad con Venezuela

Movimiento Caamañista

Confederación Nacional Unidad Sindical-CNUS

Centro de Solidaridad para el Desarrollo de la Mujer, CE MUJER

Frente Estudiantil Flavio Suero-FEFLAS

Movimiento de Mujeres Trabajadoras

Asociación Nacional de Enfermería-ASONAEN

Fuerza de la Revolución- FR

Cloc-Via Campesina

La Multitud

Confederación Nacional Mujeres  del Campo-CONAMUCA

Partido Comunista del Trabajo- PCT

Juventud Caribe

Fundación Francisco Alberto Caamaño

Campaña Dominicana de Solidaridad con Cuba-CDSC.

Unión Trabajadores Cañeros- UTC

Fundación Máximo Gómez

Gathering of Social Movements and Political Forces
For the Integration and Unity of Latin American and the Caribbean

When:  January 23 and 24
Place: Pedro Mir Library, Autonomous University

Contact: Ivan Rodriguez
Phone. 809-962-5026
Email: leticiaprimero@yahoo.es

Agenda

Monday, January 23

9:00 a.m.  Welcoming and general introduction of the meeting.
10:00 a.m. Panel (3):

  • Topic: The sovereignty of the peoples of our America
  • Topic: Human rights for all men and women
  • Topic: Peace, unity and the integration of Latin American and the Caribbean

12:30 p.m. Lunch
3:00 p.m.  Approval of the Declaration in support of CELAC
8:30 p.m.  Cultural Gala

Tuesday, Janurary 24

9:30 a.m.  Solidarity Event

Ortega: SICA needs to meet the demands of the regional people

Greater Integration, Central America’s Challenge

Managua, Dec 21 (Prensa Latina)

Consolidating unity and meeting the demands of the people are today two of the greatest challenges for the Central American Integration System (SICA, in Spanish), whose member States have agreed to push forward a sustainable development.

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On closing last night in Managua the 48th SICA Summit, Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega said that the global economy imposes new challenges on the region’s nations.

Re-founding SICA

He suggested to work on re-founding SICA because despite advances the System is not meeting the demands of the regional people and those the global economy imposes.

Nicaragua has handed over SICA’s pro-tempore Presidency to Costa Rica that will lead the bloc during the next six months

Founded in February 1993, SICA is made up of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize and Dominican Republic.

Unity and integration 

In the face of today’s challenges, the more integrated and united we are, the better and stronger we’ll be to deal with global trade, tackle poverty, hunger and provide better welfare for our people, stressed the Nicaraguan President.

Ortega insisted that despite the region’s economic indicators are not bad and they have been able to sort out the international crisis, we can do better and advance even more through integration a unity.

Daniel Ortega, an iconic regional leader with a Bolivarian vision

Source:  El19digital
November 11 2015

daniel ortega 11.jpgSteadfast in his principles

The road traveled by Commander Daniel Ortega Saavedra in these 70 years of life has not been easy. Despite the obstacles and complex situations which have arisen throughout his life, Daniel has remained steadfast in his principles, values and beliefs, which determine his character as a statesman and Latin American leader.

As a propeller of Latin American and Caribbean unity, and Peace and Justice for the peoples of the world, Daniel has transcended the borders of Nicaragua and is recognized internationally as a revolutionary leader whose voice is a light on the way that people must travel to reach their full independence and self – determination.

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On this day, November 11, 2015, as he celebrated his 70th birth anniversary, diplomats, politicians and analysts who have known him for many years report that Daniel is, of course, as is Chavez and Fidel, a symbol of Latin American and Caribbean Unity  that continues to struggle for equality, the restoration of rights and freedom for the great majority of the people of the region.

A Bolivarian, a builder of the Patria Grande

Javier Arrúe, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Nicaragua, says that Daniel is a continuation of the integration and independence of Latin America and the Caribbean, initiated by Simon Bolivar and continued by heroes like Marti and Sandino, who were also builders of the Patria Grande.

in that sense, Arrúe noted that “Commander Daniel is one of those historical men, one of those men who continue to set the path of Latin America and the Caribbean peoples who are struggling for freedom , for sovereignty, for Integration “.

To the diplomat, Bolivarian Daniel is a man who has led a life with an absolutely crystal clear position consistent with the path of the Sandinista revolution which favors the excluded and ignored by society.

“Daniel is a historical reference of dignity, sovereignty, courage, clarity , ” says Arrúe.

The ambassador also explained that the Venezuelan people appreciate the Nicaraguan leader, because he has expressed and demonstrated his infinite solidarity with the Venezuelan people and the Bolivarian revolution.

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Daniel, building strong ties between the peoples of the world

The Latin American and Caribbean peoples are not the only witness to the solidarity of Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra. People of the world such as the Palestinians suffering constant attacks from the powers of the empire, are present every day in the mind and heart of the revolutionary leader.

Muhammad Amrro, new Ambassador of Palestine in Nicaragua recognizes that Daniel has transcended borders of America and is widely known in the Middle East.

Particularly with Palestine, Amrro says that Daniel has cultivated a close friendship with his people, forging strong historical ties and championing the cause of the Palestinian people in all international forums.

“The Commander Daniel Ortega has played a key role, both being in government before and then after in all forums for Palestine. We also remember in the 80s when he was in the area doing mediation for the war in Iraq. These historical ties have been strong, very good and the role of Nicaragua and President Daniel Ortega have always been in favor of the Palestinian cause, in favor of the struggle of the Palestinian people to create their own state in the middle east and to have our freedom and our sovereignty , “said the Palestinian ambassador.

” In every forum he has never stopped at any time, throughout these years of talking about the Palestinian cause, (that) we must recognize the State of Palestine “reiterates the diplomat, noting that Nicaragua has played an important role in favor of Palestine.

“This we value and appreciate as Palestinians because almost all Nicaragua vote is in favor of recognizing the State of Palestine based on international law. That relationship has always been very good, historic, very strong and we continue the work we have done through our ambassadors here at all levels. We are working to further strengthen these relations between peoples, between the two revolutions, between the two states , “said Amrro.

 

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Cuba:  we see Daniel as a loyal and consistent brother

“Cubans see in Daniel a brother who has always been ours, very loyal, very consistent with Fidel, Raul,  . . .  he has always been there for us in defense of the Cuban Revolution,”said the ambassador of Cuba in Nicaragua, Eduardo Martinez.

The diplomat said that Daniel has had a fruitful life not only for the Nicaraguan people, but for humanity and the revolutionary people.

Martinez recalls that over the years Daniel has remained loyal to Cuba and its people.

“He was a voice that is listened to with great respect in international forums, when he goes, when he speaks, and even when he does not go to the  United Nations, because one doesn’t always have the possibility of being there physically, but there is his message because other government officials are speaking for him, whether it be the Vice President, the Chancellor, the Ambassador, it is the voice of Commander Daniel representing the Sandinista revolution, the Sandinista people; condemning the blockade; in the struggle for the liberation of the Cuban Five, defending the Palestinian people; defending the just cause of the Puerto Rican brother people.

“Consequently, I think that’s what most admired from the international point of view – the projection of Commander Daniel Ortega as anti – imperialist, revolutionary, firm and never-faltering “.

For the Cuban diplomat, the Nicaraguan president maintains a line of thinking with consequential action.

“That is admirable in the case of Comandante Daniel who has devoted many years of his life to this fight … this is why we admire and respect him, in Cuba he is a beloved figure, “says Martínez.

daniel ortega y fidel.jpg

The ambassador also highlights the close friendship of Comandante Daniel Ortega with leaders of the Cuban Revolution, Commanders Fidel and Raul Castro.

” It’s a brotherhood of many years, we always remember that the Nicaraguan revolution triumphed in 1979, exactly 20 years after the victory of the Cuban revolution; we always remember all the support over all those years, even in preparing the struggle of many guerrillas of the Frente Sandinista, including Daniel himself, in Cuba.  That formed, forged a friendship and a very strong brotherhood between our leaders, which today remains among Fidel, Raul, Daniel and Compañera Rosario.  There is a brotherhood that transcends any kind of conjunctural situation and is really of the heart,” said the ambassador.

” That’s nice, because in the end we are human beings and human beings who have a historical responsibility.  As Commander, Daniel  was able to transcend his era.  If we are able to leave that mark on international relations, I think we are worthy of admiration,” he added.

daniel ortega y raul.jpg

Bulwark of Nicaraguan international policy

To Deputy Jose Figueroa, Commander Daniel is an important foreign policy stronghold for NIcaragua. Figueroa recalls that Daniel played an important role in the peace processes in Central America.

“The Comandante Daniel Ortega we saw in the processes of Contadora, in the negotiation processes for Peace in Central America, the peace agreements in Nicaragua; and in times of opposition also Commander Ortega was an outstanding international leader.  We also saw him with a strong stance defending the position of Cuba, the rights of Puerto Rico, pronouncing our opposition on  the US bases in Cuba, we saw him in the Non-Aligned Movement, as an outstanding leader and most recently Commander Ortega has also been present with great force in the formation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) with President Chávez, along with Commander Fidel, with Evo Morales and other leaders of the ALBA ,” Figueroa said.

For the Sandinista deputy, Commander Daniel enjoys great prestige and great moral authority as a statesman and as a Latin American leader.

“Commander Ortega is recognized not only because of the level of commitment he has displayed throughout his political history but also because of his good governance as head of the presidential administration in Nicaragua. His work is also recognized in many other areas such as public safety, tourism, foreign investment and public-private partnership,” says Figueroa.

daniel ortega y lula.jpg

Nicaragua knows that it is on the right track

The General (R) Alvaro Baltodano, presidential adviser for investments argues that Commander Daniel has favored in his government in the last two presidential terms a  philosophy of dialogue and a partnership model, leading the country in the right direction.

According to Baltodano this approach has gained the support of more than 70% of the country’s population and is recognized internationally as well as at the level of financial multilateral organizations.

daniel ortega y latam leaders.jpg

Respected by the World Bank and the IMF

“The alliance sees President Ortega working with the private sector closely; sitting with the national social movements of Nicaragua,  while progress is seen in the fight against poverty … the multilateral organizations, which measure all countries with a parameter and the parameters say that Nicaragua has made progress in the fight against poverty,” Baltodano said.

” the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, say the economy walks well, the rating agencies have given us a better level. The president is clear that that is not enough, we must do more, we must make qualitative leaps, and he has proposed making large strategic projects in Nicaragua, strategic projects are not created if there is no will to do it,” added General (R) Alvaro Baltodano.

Reference of Latin American revolutions

History has linked Daniel and Nicaragua, one cannot speak of Daniel Ortega and not mention Nicaragua, and vice versa.

Aminta Buenaño, Ambassador of Ecuador in Nicaragua, expressed the fraternal greetings and wishes for health and prosperity at the 70 birth anniversary of Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra.

As she says, “Daniel Ortega for Ecuadorians is a reference of Latin American revolutions, (he) is a very important historical reference, which should be taken into account when speaking of integration, sovereignty, justice and equity in Latin America. ”

daniel ortega y rafaelcorrea.jpg

Buenaño argues that Daniel is a very important partner in the framework of the ALBA countries for his willingness to cooperate, support and his solidarity especially with Latin America.

“In this regard, Ecuador has a special predisposition, a special friendship toward Nicaragua, to President Daniel Ortega, who during his tenure has displayed consistent credibility, a sense of justice to his word and especially a commitment to the development of this beautiful country Nicaragua, a country which has been a cradle of poets and revolutionaries,” said the diplomat.

” with his words, his actions, his historical struggles, Commander Daniel, has marked a line inside which means that important strategic geopolitical space. He is ALBA. ALBA is a fundamental space for all countries seeking integration and economic sovereignty of our region. In this sense Commander Daniel Ortega is a leader also in the struggle and history of ALBA ,” says Buenaño.

For the ambassador of the South American country, Daniel Ortega has developed a tenacious struggle against poverty and for equity and distribution of wealth, “so we feel we are following the same path, the same path and all are countries that are united in regional bodies such as the CELAC and ALBA “.

Daniel is the best son of Sandino

daniel ortega y sandino's image.JPG

Former Foreign Minister, Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann said that Commander Daniel Ortega Saavedra is a reference figure not only in Latin America but the world.

“Even in the past, most recondite corners of the world Daniel is known, Daniel is respected, Daniel is admired for his fidelity to the ideals, for those wonderful ideals for which our heroes and martyrs fought , and being hands down the best son of Sandino and the undisputed leader always of  the Sandinista National Liberation Front, that much resonance was worldwide ,” says the priest.

Brockmann stresses that President Daniel is also a leader in environmental protection of mother earth and in the fight for equality and dignity of every human being.

The former foreign minister’s role has been filled by Rosario Murillo.

“I always find that she has also contributed much to complement the necessarily more masculine vision of Daniel … That I would have mentioned in several countries, they tell me, but father how is this done … being like Daniel, and listening to women?  And Daniel is lucky Rosario also helps you to have this more holistic view of human beings , “he said.

 

Vice Halleslevens: Commander Daniel has transcended the borders of America

On the occasion of the birth anniversary of President of the Republic, Commander Daniel Ortega Saavedra, Vice President Omar Halleslevens,  said that the Sandinista leader and current president has transcended the borders of Nuestramérica and has become a true Latin American leader.

daniel-ortega-y-putin

“I think Daniel has become truly known in Nicaragua today, … Daniel is an undeniable leader for all he has done for this country through discipline, because in these things, often discipline is important,” said General (R) Omar Halleslevens.

General Halleslevens confirms that Daniel is a leader for Latin America because of his continued participation in the life of the country , because as a leader he has been developing successful public policies, … “that’s completely undeniable, that’s a fact Daniel Ortega has for a while in this country, and hopefully, we will have many more decades of leadership as he has been demonstarting and that the people will continue to have all these victories and successes that has been occurring every day,…these pockets of extreme poverty, these pockets still hungry in our country, are gradually reduced as blissfully is happening in Nicaragua and that has been recognized by international organizations , “says Halleslevens.

According to the Vice President, Daniel has managed to lead the country in the right direction. “Today we have robust macroeconomic indicators which show that tourism is growing, foreign direct investment is growing every year, the stability that the country continues to deepen and that all this is for the welfare of the people of Nicaragua.”

daniel ortega with the people.JPG

Raul: We cannot remain indifferent to disturbances in Latin America and the Caribbean

Source:  Granma
June 4, 2016

Full text of remarks by Raul Castro Ruz, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, opening the 7th Association of Caribbean States Summit, June 4,2016

by: Raúl Castro Ruz | internet@granma.cu

7th acs summit Havana.jpg

Photo: Alejandro Ernesto

Distinguished Heads of State and/or Government,

Esteemed Ambassador Alfonso Munera Cavadia, Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States,

Distinguished delegates and guests,

CUBA-HAVANA-ACS-SUMMITFor the seventh time, we are meeting as Heads of States and/or Government, alongside other high representatives of the States and territories of the Association of Caribbean States, ACS. On this occasion we have gathered for a deep exchange on the theme “Together to confront the challenges of sustainable development, climate change and peace in the Caribbean”.

Our deliberations will also be aimed at strengthening the organization on the basis of its foundational principles, as a mechanism of coordination, cooperation and concerted action.

We welcome the French Overseas Collectivity of Saint Martin, a new Associate Member, and salute the adherence as Observers of the Multinational State of Bolivia, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Eastern Republic of Uruguay and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA-TCP), the same as the presence of representatives of nations and organizations as Observers.

Puerto Rico

We hope one day to be able to count with the adherence of all of the Caribbean territories, including the sister island of Puerto Rico, as an independent and sovereign nation.

When in July 1994, the Heads of States and/or Government of 25 independent nations met in the city of Cartagena de Indias, along with delegates from other Caribbean territories, embracing the historic initiative of CARICOM to establish the Association of Caribbean States, it was our purpose to work together in defense of our identities, cultural heritage and common interests; to reinforce political coordination and cooperation; and to advance with sustainable development, and the integration of our peoples.

The Program Declaration of our 1st Summit in Trinidad and Tobago defined Tourism, Transportation and Commerce as strategic areas. Then, cooperation to cope with natural disasters was later added to these. The Declaration of the 6th Summit held in Merida, Mexico, in April 2014, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the ACS, and the Petion Ville Plan of Action adopted at the 5th Summit the year before in that city of the Republic of Haiti, reaffirmed unquestionable achievements but also enormous challenges still ahead.

The high cost and economic difficulties of connecting by air and sea

The issue of connection by air and by sea, its high costs and economic difficulties, largely the consequence of the global crisis– jeopardize commerce and investments between our countries. Therefore, it is urgent to find creative and viable solutions beneficial to all, mindful of the special and differentiated treatment required by smaller states.

The development of multi-destination tourism, the diversification of markets, increases in the quality and diversity of tourist services and the training of skilled personnel also stand as priority areas.

Allow me to avail myself of the occasion to underline that Cuba is especially interested in enhancing and consolidating cooperation with our Caribbean brothers and sisters in the tourism sector.

Climate change 

On the other hand, the occurrences associated to climate change, such as the rising of sea level that threatens the very existence of small islands; the more frequent and increasingly powerful hurricanes; and, the intensive rainfalls, coastal erosion and extensive droughts bring considerable human and economic damage to our nations. That is why the development of cooperation to reduce the risks of disasters, and mitigate their effects, is a pressing necessity for our governments, and should take central stage in our plan of action for the future.

The agreement reached at the Paris Summit on Climate Change stands as a significant starting point, but we should continue our work to have it implemented, and to enlarge its scope, always on the basis of common but differentiated responsibilities, and recognizing the vulnerabilities of the least developed countries, particularly the small island states.

Irrational production and consumption patterns

We advocate the principle that irrational production and consumption patterns should be modified, and insist that the political will of the industrial nations is required to cut down emissions of greenhouse effect friendly gases, and to make serious pledges in terms of funds and technological transfer.

Sovereignty over our natural resources

Another issue demanding priority attention concerns sovereignty over our natural resources, which constitute a guarantee for the future and a source of wealth for our peoples. Allowing their unrestricted exploitation by foreign interests, with negligible profits for our nations, is tantamount to compromising development and adding to existing dependence.

In the past few years, the ACS has concentrated its main efforts on advancing cooperation in the previously mentioned strategic areas. This is certainly positive, and we should continue working on it, but never losing sight of the fact that the current circumstances pose severe challenges that we also need to confront together.

The imperialist and oligarchic counteroffensive unleashed against popular and progressive governments

We cannot remain indifferent to disturbances in Latin America and the Caribbean resulting from the imperialist and oligarchic counteroffensive unleashed against popular and progressive governments, which emerged after the failure of the neoliberal wave. This constitutes a threat to peace, stability, unity and indispensable regional integration.

The situation demands the reinforcement of consultation and coordination mechanisms in conformity with the precepts contained in Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by the Heads of States and/or Government attending the 2nd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (CELAC), held in Havana in January 2014. We should also urge others to respect those principles in their relations with our countries.

The commitment to not interfere, directly or indirectly

The commitments of States in the region to not interfere, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any other State, and to abide by the principles of national sovereignty, equality of rights and the free determination of the peoples; to promote friendly and cooperative relations between them, and with other nations; to exercise tolerance and live in peace; and, to fully respect every State’s inalienable right to choose its political, economic, social and cultural system are unavoidable conditions to peace, harmony, development and the integration of our countries.

Unconditional solidarity with the legitimate government of President Nicolas Maduro

I reaffirm our strongest and unconditional solidarity with the fraternal people of Venezuela, with the legitimate government of President Nicolas Maduro, and with the Bolivarian Revolution initiated by Commander Hugo Chavez Frias. They are firmly resisting the destabilizing thrust, and the economic and media warfare undertaken by those who intend to sweep away the political, economic and social conquests that have brought benefits to millions of people who for centuries lived in conditions of poverty, injustice and inequality.

It is a source of deep concern, the unacceptable attempt by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States to apply the so-called Inter American Democratic Charter to interfere with the internal affairs of Venezuela. The statement published by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains Cuba’s position and releases me of offering details.

The OAS is, and will continue to be, an instrument of imperialist domination

I would only reiterate our view that the OAS, from its inception was, as it is and will continue to be, an instrument of imperialist domination, and no reform whatsoever can change its nature or its history. That is why Cuba will never return to the OAS.

Solidarity to the Brazilian people and their Constitutional President Dilma Rousseff

We also extend our solidarity to the Brazilian people and their Constitutional President Dilma Rousseff, who is bravely confronting the parliamentary coup d’état promoted by the right-wing and neoliberal oligarchy, intent on reversing the social achievements scored during the governments headed by the Workers Party.

I reaffirm our satisfaction with the progress attained in the Colombian peace process, and reiterate that we shall keep up the effort to contribute to achieve the completion of an agreement that can definitely put an end to the armed conflict in that sister nation.

Peace, justice, equity and the sustainable development

The preservation of peaceful coexistence and stability makes it indispensable to prevent the aggravation of territorial disputes inherited from colonial days. These should be settled through dialogue and negotiation, and with the full awareness of the historic responsibility that we have to our peoples for the future of peace, justice, equity and the sustainable development that we all aspire to build.

This conference offers propitious occasion to restate our steadfast determination to continue cooperating and sharing our modest achievements with our Caribbean brothers and sisters, despite the economic challenges we face.

Commitment to Haiti

Likewise, we are fully committed to support the reconstruction and development of the fraternal Republic of Haiti, the birthplace of the first revolution for independence and slave emancipation in Our America.

I reaffirm our support for the legitimate demand of countries of the Caribbean Community to be compensated for the horrors of slavery and slave trade. By the same token, I reiterate our resolute support for the right of small and vulnerable states to be accorded a special and differentiated treatment, in terms of access to commerce and investments, and their just demand to receive cooperation according to their real needs and not on the basis of indexes of per capita income that classify them as middle income countries, thus preventing their access to indispensable financial resources.

We shall never forget

We shall never forget that when the ACS was established, in July 1994, our Caribbean brothers and sisters defended our membership in the bosom of this united family. At the time, Cuba was undergoing an extremely challenging situation, since our economy had fallen by 35%, due to the sudden loss of its major markets, in the aftermath of the demise of the European socialist camp and mounting imperialist pressures to corner and destroy the Revolution.

The blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States

We shall neither forget the unrelenting support that every government represented here has provided to our just demand for the removal of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States; a blockade that remains in force, despite the fact that it has been rejected 24 times at the United Nations General Assembly, and other important fora, like the Summit of the Americas held in Panama last year; and despite positive but insufficient measures adopted by the current U.S. Administration.

US Naval Base in Guantanamo

We also appreciate the support displayed at the 4th CELAC Summit with respect to our demand for the return of the Cuban territory unlawfully occupied by a U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo, against the will of our people and government.

Norman Girvan

Before concluding my remarks, I wish to pay tribute to the memory of an outstanding Jamaican intellectual, Professor Norman Girvan, a restless combatant for progress in the Caribbean, and for regional integration, and a great friend of Cuba, who served as Secretary General of our Association.

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Photo:  Norman Girvan (centre) with Fidel

We should also acknowledge at this point, the remarkable work of Ambassador Alfonso Munera Cavadia in these four years as Secretary General of the ACS, and express our satisfaction over the election of Saint Lucia’s Ambassador June Soomer, the first woman to assume this responsibility, and to whom we wish the greatest success.

Now, without further delay I pronounce the 7th Summit of the Association of Caribbean States open.

Related information

 

Maduro in Jamaica: Only together can our nations develop and our people achieve happiness

Source: JIS
May 22, 2016

by Denise Dennis

maduro y holness may 2016.jpg

President Nicolas Maduro and Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness

Committed to PetroCaribe

Despite facing economic challenges, the Venezuelan Government has reiterated its commitment to maintaining its arrangements with Jamaica under the PetroCaribe Agreement.

The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, along with a delegation of government officials, was in Jamaica on a working visit from May 21-22.

In his remarks at a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister today, he allayed uncertainty about his country’s commitment to the agreement, noting that both governments discussed the need to strengthen the scheme.

The PetroCaribe Agreement has been successful

He said this is important, as the PetroCaribe Agreement has been successful in bolstering the economic and energy exchanges of the member countries.

“We are fully convinced that in the last 10 years, PetroCaribe has clearly demonstrated that it’s only together that we can reach development and (achieve) happiness for our peoples,” President Maduro said through an interpreter.

He noted that the meeting with Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, and Jamaican Government ministers was marked by dialogue on cooperation and a strong will to continue efforts to further unite both countries.

High-level meetings in three months

President Maduro added that improvements to trade relations particularly through the PetroCaribe Agreement, will serve to further strengthen the stability and economic development of the Latin America and Caribbean regions.

He said both governments will hold high-level meetings in three months to finalise agreements made on economic trade policies.

Prime Minister Holness, in his remarks conveyed appreciation for Venezuela’s expressed commitment to the PetroCaribe Arrangement.

He said Jamaica is committed to the Agreement which has contributed to the country’s energy security as well as its economic and social development.

PetroCaribe, which began in 2005, is an agreement between Venezuela and some Caribbean territories to purchase oil on preferential payment conditions. It allows member nations to buy oil at market value and only pay a percentage of the cost up front, with the balance being paid over 25 years at one per cent interest.

Countries under the agreement are allowed to purchase 185,000 barrels of oil per day on these terms.

 

Evo Morales Awarded the Jose Marti Order in Cuba

Source:  TeleSUR
May 21 2016

raul y evo may 2016

The Bolivian president will hold talks with his Cuban colleague Raul Castro. He praised Cuba’s solidarity with Bolivia despite the U.S. blockade.

Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived in Cuba this Friday for a visit aimed at reviewing the current state of bilateral relations and assess options aimed at expanding cooperation between the two nations, the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina reported.

During his visit, Morales will pay tribute this Friday to Cuban National Hero, Jose Marti, at the Revolution Square.

The Bolivian head of state is also scheduled to meet with President, Raul Castro to hold talks on the relations between the two socialist governments.

Latin America and the Caribbean integration

Both presidents will analyze ideas and new programs for the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Morales will be awarded the Jose Marti Order, the highest distinction bestowed by the Cuban Council of State, and later he will carry out other activities, Prensa Latina said.

Before departing Bolivia, Morales spoke of the importance of the figure and teachings of the former Cuban President Fidel Castro, who he described as the most solidary man in the world.

Morales praised the Cuban government for providing assistance to Bolivia despite the fact that the Caribbean island nation is under an over five-decade U.S.-imposed blockade.

 

Ecuador’s Rafael Correa: CELAC Should Replace OAS

Source: TeleSUR
January 20 2016

rafael correa in Macas.pngEcuadorean President Rafael Correa greets citizens in Macas, Ecuador, during a visit on Jan. 19, 2016. | Photo: Presidency of Ecuador

The Ecuadorean president argued that forcing Latin American countries to travel to Washington to settle disputes is an outdated model for the region.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said Wednesday that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, known as CELAC, should replace the Organization of American States as the regional integration mechanism for Latin America.

“Our perspective is that we hope that CELAC replace the OAS very soon,” said Correa during a press conference in the Presidential Palace in Ecuador’s capital city of Quito.

Correa reiterated his opinion that it is not appropriate that Latin American and Caribbean states have to travel to the OAS headquarters in Washington, instead of being able to settle disputes on their own turf.

IN DEPTH: CELAC: Building Regional Unity

The resurgence of right-wing politics

Correa also warned that the resurgence of right-wing politics in the region threatens to undermine the integration progress made in recent years.

“Experience has shown that beyond the ideological orientation of the government, integration is a common denominator,” said Correa, adding that the regional fight against poverty must continue to be a CELAC priority despite ideological differences between its members.

The president’s comments come ahead of the annual CELAC Summit, to be hosted in Ecuador next week at the UNASUR headquarters north of Quito.

Correa also announced plans to urge CELAC to support a U.N. initiative aimed at holding transnational corporations accountable for human rights abuses.

The proposed mechanism would be similar to the Hague International Court of Justice and act as a counterweight to the World Back investor-state arbitration that allows corporations to sue countries over policies that infringe on their future profits.

CELAC was founded in 2010 and is made up of 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Unlike the OAS, which was founded in 1948, CELAC does not include the U.S. and Canada.