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ALBA Expels USAID from Member Countries

ALBA-TCP | June 21, 2012

Resolution from the Political Council of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) for the immediate withdrawal of USAID from member countries of the alliance.

On behalf of the Chancellors of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Federal Republic of Brazil, on June 21st 2012.

Given the open interference of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the internal politics of the ALBA countries, under the excuse of “planning and administering economic and humanitarian assistance for the whole world outside of the United States,” financing non-governmental organizations and actions and projects designed to destabilise the legitimate governments which do not share their common interests.

Knowing the evidence brought to light by the declassified documents of the North American State Department in which the financing of organisations and political parties in opposition to ALBA countries is made evident, in a clear and shameless interference in the internal political processes of each nation.

Given that this intervention of a foreign country in the internal politics of a country is contrary to the internal legislation of each nation.

On the understanding that in the majority of ALBA countries, USAID, through its different organisations and disguises, acts in an illegal manner with impunity, without possessing a legal framework to support this action, and illegally financing the media, political leaders and non-governmental organisations, amongst others.

On the understanding that through these financing programmes they are supporting NGOs which promote all kind of fundamentalism in order to conspire and limit the legal authority of our states, and in many cases, widely loot our natural resources on territory which they claim to control at their own free will.

Conscious of the fact that our countries do not need any kind of external financing for the maintenance of our democracies, which are consolidated through the will of the Latin American and Caribbean people, in the same way that we do not need organisations in the charge of foreign powers which, in practice, usurp and weaken the presence of state organisms and prevent them from developing the role that corresponds to them in the economic and social arena of our populations.

We resolve to:

Request that the heads of state and the government of the states who are members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, immediately expel USAID and its delegates or representatives from their countries, due to the fact that we consider their presence and actions to constitute an interference which threatens the sovereignty and stability of our nations.

In the city of Rio de Janeiro, Federal Republic of Brazil, June 21st 2012.

Signed by:

The government of the Pluri-national state of Bolivia.

The government of the Republic of Cuba.

The government of the Republic of Ecuador.

The government of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

The government of the Republic of Nicaragua.

The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Translated by Rachael Boothroyd for Venezuelanalysis

June 22, 2012 Posted by | Corruption | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

4 ALBA states leave Rio Treaty

Press TV – June 6, 2012

Four Latin American countries have agreed to pull out of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, saying the regional defense treaty is a US initiative and membership is not beneficial to them.

The foreign ministers of Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Nicaragua announced their decision on Tuesday at the end of an annual meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Bolivia.

Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said the decision by the four member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) was official as the four countries signed a document denouncing the treaty.

The treaty, commonly known as the Rio Treaty, stipulates that an armed attack against any of the member states is to be considered an attack against all of them.

On Sunday, Bolivian President Evo Morales called for the elimination of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, saying that the rights body concerns itself only with countries that do not share a political affinity with the United States. The US is not subject to the commission’s oversight.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not attend the OAS meeting in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

The 42nd General Assembly of the Organization of American States, which brings together leaders from nations across the Americas to address hemispheric issues and opportunities, started on June 3 in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba under the theme “Food security with sovereignty.”

June 5, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Comments Off on 4 ALBA states leave Rio Treaty

ALBA Advances towards “Alternative Economic Model”, Pursues Anti-Imperialist Agenda

By Rachael Boothroyd | Venezuelanalysis.com | February 6th 2012

Caracas  – Member countries of Latin America’s alternative integration bloc, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), met in the Venezuelan capital this weekend in order to discuss the advancement of the organisation at its 11th official summit.

Following a meeting on Friday to draft proposals and set an agenda, the presidents discussed a series of themes relating to ALBA’s role within the regional economy and various foreign policy issues. The body also approved several declarations relating to global political concerns, including pronouncements on Syria and the current diplomatic altercation between the UK and Argentina with relation to the Falkland Islands.

Bank of the ALBA

At the end of the summit’s first day, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that member countries had agreed to contribute 1% of their international reserves towards the bloc’s main bank in order to create a reserve fund.

The Bank of the Alba was established in 2008 with the intention of providing economic support to people-centred regional projects and to contribute to sustainable social and economic development across the region. The Bank is also cited as acting as a continental alternative to the International Monetary Fund.

At the summit, ALBA member countries agreed that the financial reinforcement of the bank would be pivotal to the development of the bloc. Chavez also reaffirmed Venezuela’s commitment to funding regional development projects by announcing his intention to increase petroleum production in the Orinoco Belt to that end.

“We should increase oil production from 3 to 3.5 million barrels a day, and by 2014 we should be at 4 million barrels. This is going to allow us greater flexibility in all of these projects,” said the head of state.

According to Chavez, Venezuela’s contribution to the bank will amount to around US$300 million.

Regional Currency

The heads of state also discussed the possibility of increasing the commercial use of the sucre, the bloc’s virtual currency. The sucre is currently used for direct trading between the ALBA countries, allowing them to circumvent the U.S dollar and minimise the foreign-exchange risk.

According to Ricardo Menendez, Venezuelan Vice-minister of Production and Economy, 431 financial transactions using the sucre were carried out between ALBA countries last year, amounting to over US$216 million worth of trade. However, Ecuadorean president, Rafael Correa, called for the use of the currency to be increased.

“Those free trade agreements, free markets, [with]…zero indemnity, annihilating the weak, that’s suicide for our countries…We should encourage fair trade; unite our reserves and financial capacity in the Bank of the Alba and avoid using foreign currencies,” he urged.

Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista president of Nicaragua, also expressed his desire to boost the use of the bloc’s currency. In statements, Ortega said that he hoped to begin using the sucre within the next few weeks, subject to approval from Nicaragua’s national assembly.

Anti-imperialist Agenda

As well as condemning what it referred to as the “systemic policies of destabilisation and interventionism” currently being implemented in Syria, the bloc also signed a document in support of Puerto Rico’s right to self-determination and full independence.

Further, ALBA reiterated its support for the Argentinean government in its diplomatic dispute with the UK over the Falkland Islands. In a special communication, the bloc called for a negotiated settlement to the Falkland’s question which does not violate the United Nation’s 31/49 resolution. The ALBA’s statements come as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez also expressed his solidarity with the Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner on Saturday, stating that the South American nation would “not be alone” in the event of a conflict.

Correa suggested that the bloc should move to impose sanctions against the UK government due to its unwillingness to engage in dialogue with the Argentinean government to resolve the issue. Last week, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, revealed that he had sent a warship to the Falklands as a “routine” measure.

Chavez has confirmed that the ALBA group will now review what sanctions may be taken in response to the “negative dialogue” and “ridiculous military threat” from David Cameron’s coalition government.

The ALBA also struck out against the Organisation of American States for its exclusionary stance with regards to Cuba. In accordance with a proposal from Correa, the bloc said it would consider not attending the Summit of the Americas, due to be held in Colombia this April, if Cuba were not invited.

“We could take this to the host country, which is the Colombian government, with whom we have re-established political and commercial relations… I am in agreement with Rafael Correa, if Cuba isn’t invited, we will consider not attending, it’s a matter of dignity,” concluded Chavez.

Helping Haiti  

As part of the summit, the ALBA agreed to step up its humanitarian assistance to Haiti through the formation of an ALBA-Haiti work plan. The project will be aimed at providing emergency relief and facilitating reconstruction efforts in the Caribbean nation, which is still suffering the effects of the earthquake of January 2010.

Member countries also agreed to establish a Haiti fund in order to execute the projects and provide the country’s energy plants with fuel. Details will be finalised at a foreign ministers meeting in Haiti at the beginning of March.

In comments to the Venezuelan press, Haitian President Michel Martelly thanked the ALBA for its continued efforts to help the Caribbean nation in the wake of its humanitarian catastrophe. He added that the new ALBA plan would go towards alleviating extreme poverty in Haiti. Venezuela and Haiti also signed an independent bilateral agreement to increase cooperation between the two countries.

ALBA Expands

In the final act of the summit, the ALBA ratified St. Lucia and Surinam as two new honorary members to the bloc and confirmed that soon both countries would be full members of Venezuela’s energy integration organisation, Petrocaribe.

Other proposals that the group will now pursue include the creation of regional schools for social movements and the establishment of a communications secretary general; as well as the proposal to create a “defence counsel” for the bloc, which was submitted by Bolivian President Evo Morales.  

Formed in 2004 by Venezuela and Cuba, the ALBA is an alternative to U.S free trade agreements in the region and seeks to address unjust terms of trade by engaging in commerce on the basis of solidarity and cooperation. ALBA nations currently include; Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda. The governments of Haiti, Surinam and St. Lucia also attended the event as “participant observers”.

February 6, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Comments Off on ALBA Advances towards “Alternative Economic Model”, Pursues Anti-Imperialist Agenda