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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

ALBA-TCP: Highlights from the XXII Summit in Havana

A "unifying mechanism for the defense of peace, democracy, stability and the well-being of the peoples of Our America."

Nicolás Maduro Moros, president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela speaks at the XXII ALBA-TCP Summit -- photo via the Communist Party of Cuba

The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – Peoples’ Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) held its 22nd summit in Havana, Cuba this week.

Founded 18 years ago by Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, ALBA-TCP is an anti-imperialist and leftist formation that seeks to foster solidarity and economic integration in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as to counter the blockades and imperialist actions and interventions of the US government. The ten member countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Nicaragua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela.

The assembled delates tackled issues from climate change to regional reparations as well as universally condemning the ongoing coup in Peru, the lawfare campaign against Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández and the cruel, coercive and punitive sanctions against countries like Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Here is a summary of some excerpts from speeches by from leaders like Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez of Cuba and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua as well as the full English language translation of the "Declaration of the XXII ALBA-TCP Summit in commemoration of its 18th anniversary".

On several occasions and because I am convinced of it, I have always recognized that, of all the blocks that exist in the world, ALBA was the regional integration bloc that showed the fastest concrete results of benefits for its peoples.

This anniversary is coming as Latin America and the Caribbean face a new crossroads for their destinies, which cannot be addressed without cooperation and unity.

The region hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic remains the most unequal; It suffers the effects of the unjust international economic order and even the ravages of the serious situation created in another continent.

The transnationals have continued to plunder the region's resources and increase their profit margins, while increasing energy and food prices. Inflation has risen and in several countries reached the highest levels in recent years. Access to financial resources has become more difficult and costly. Tension on budgets increased and the crippling pressure of external debt remains.

In this context, there is an advance of political forces that intend to implement policies aimed at social development and the integration of our countries.

This advance is the result of social and popular struggles to seek to satisfy citizen demands for profound and urgent transformations of previous policies that led large masses to uncertainty.

Alarmed by this advance, imperialism and its allies have accelerated the harassment of leftist candidates, lead and stimulated politically motivated judicial processes against them, such as the one against Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández, to whom we send a big hug and all our support.

Imperialism and the oligarchies permanently resort to disinformation and manipulation of the Latin American and Caribbean reality, through the traditional media and digital networks they control.

Without hiding, these oligarchies group together to support politicians and candidates with fascist-oriented programs, and declare their will to prevent at all costs the electoral triumph of the left. To do this, they also resort to crude intimidation of supporters and voters of left-wing and progressive parties.

While the region is resuming the paths of social justice and integration, the United States reactivates the Monroe Doctrine, about to celebrate 200 years of its proclamation. Its postulates, which have served to justify invasions, coups d'état and economic pressures on countries during various periods, now try to limit sovereignty and, as always, impose dominion over our destinies...

This year Cuba received the support of 185 States of the world in its struggle against the criminal blockade imposed on the Cuban people by the Government of the United States for more than 60 years. Likewise, the demand is growing that Cuba be excluded from the arbitrary United States list of State sponsors of terrorism. It is these positions that we deeply appreciate.

We reiterate once again the most resolute support for President Nicolás Maduro Moros and the civic-military union he leads. We welcome with joy the progress made by the Bolivarian and Chavista governments in favor of returning to Venezuela the financial and economic resources that have been usurped. The perseverance, dignity and courage of the Venezuelan people in the face of the continuous attacks against them will remain in history as another example that it can be done.

We strongly reject the attacks and unilateral coercive measures adopted against sister Nicaragua and convey our support to Commander President Daniel Ortega Saavedra.

We reaffirm the solidarity and fraternal support for the Plurinational State of Bolivia and for brother President Luis Arce, who has had to face destabilizing attempts from the fascist opposition...

2023 will be a year of struggle and hope. It is up to us to ensure that it is also a year of progress and victory. With the tenacity, perseverance and natural creativity of our unique and resilient peoples, we can achieve this.

For these 18 years of concertation and integration of solidarity; by Fidel and by Chávez; for the founding fathers of Latin America and the Caribbean, let us work for a more united ALBA! An ALBA of solidarity! An ALBA of dignity!

Until Victory Always!

Daniel Ortega Nicaraguan President:

Fidel and Chavez are present here this day, we feel them in our hearts, in our conscience. I hope they will give us more strength to continue the battle against the aggressor imperialism...

Once again Cuba will win, Martí will win, Fidel will win, Raul will win, Che will win, Miguel will win.

Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica:

I want to express to you that the Cuban Revolution can always count on my solidarity and that of my country. We will remain in that same trend despite all the positions of the Northern State and we will continue to raise our voices so that the unjust blockade imposed on the people of Cuba is ended...

Dominica's solidarity remains unwavering and steadfast with ALBA. We will not give in to the pressures and threats of imperialism, because many of our sisters and sisters have lost their lives to allow us the opportunity to be here today.

Nicolás Maduro Moros, president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela:

It was the first decade of this century and a wave of revolutionary, progressive and authentic changes was rising in our continent; and Cuba and Venezuela unite our two Revolutions, our two peoples and our capacities to say to Latin America and the Caribbean: we must march together, we must build and link all the forces of a heroic continent, which has waged so many deeds for centuries for its independence and definitive emancipation.

Declaration of the 22nd ALBA-TCP Summit on its 18th Anniversary

"18 years of unity and commitment to Latin American and Caribbean integration"

The Heads of State and Government and Heads of Delegations of the member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – People's Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP), gathered in Havana, Cuba, on December 14, 2022, on the occasion of the 18th Anniversary of the Alliance; we hereby:

1. Reaffirm the commitment to strengthen ALBA-TCP as an instrument of union of our peoples, based on the principles of solidarity, social justice, cooperation and economic complementarity, resulting from the political will of its founders, Commanders Fidel Castro Ruz and Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.

2. Highlight the need to strengthen the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) as a genuine dialogue and political coordination mechanism gathering the 33 States of Our America, based on the principle of unity in diversity.

3. Reiterate our commitment to the development and welfare of our nations, as well as to the defense of national sovereignty without any foreign interference. Also, we reject the colonialist and interfering postulates of the Monroe Doctrine, used to justify destabilizing and interventionist practices in Latin America and the Caribbean.

4. Vindicate the national dignity of our peoples, and the liberation ideology of the national heroes and founding fathers of Latin America and the Caribbean.

5. Congratulate the peoples of Grenada, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, and the Commonwealth of Dominica for their successful election days.

6. Support the right of the Caribbean countries to fair, special and differential treatment, as we also reaffirm our support for their just claims and reparations for the damages caused by native genocide, colonialism and slavery.

7. Stress that climate finance, technology transfer and the ways and means of capacity development are obligations and commitments incumbent upon developed countries because of their historical responsibility with the environmental damages, their unsustainable patterns of capitalist production and consumption, and the unjust international economic order that perpetuates inequality, poverty, and underdevelopment. For this reason, we demand the prompt fulfillment of all climate finance commitments, particularly, the decision to create a Loss and Damage Fund for Vulnerable Countries, adopted at the COP27 on Climate Change, held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

8. Underscore the importance of safeguarding biodiversity and ensuring the well-being of all ecosystems, in order to encourage an inclusive and clear multilateral dialogue towards a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth and the convening of the Earth Assembly.

9. Reject the destabilizing plans and actions fueled by powerful external factors and national oligarchies that have managed or are attempting to disregard the will of the Latin American and Caribbean peoples, which has been democratically and legitimately expressed at the polls.

10.Denounce the use of unconventional warfare strategies against democratically elected governments and leaders in the region using the politically motivated and legally unsubstantiated judicial processes (lawfare), to defeat political and ideological opponents while condemning manipulation for political and destabilizing purposes of human rights, the disinformation and propaganda campaigns; the malicious use of the information and communication technologies; and cyber attacks, among other methods undermining the sovereignty and will of the peoples. In this regard, we express our firmest rejection of the politically motivated judicial actions against our fellow Vice President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, a key leader of the integration processes in Latin America and the Caribbean.

11.Express our support to the brotherly Plurinational State of Bolivia against destabilizing attempts and our recognition of its resoluteness in defending the process of the democratic and cultural Revolution.

12. Reiterate our solidarity with the brotherly people and government of the Republic of Nicaragua amid the permanent aggression, the imposed unilateral coercive measures, the disinformation campaigns and the interventionist actions of the government of the United States of America against Nicaraguan sovereignty.

13.Welcome the historic signing of the Second Partial Agreement on the Social Protection of the Venezuelan People, as well as the broad dialogue and agreements promoted by President Nicolás Maduro with the different political opposition parties, which confirm the role of Bolivarian Peace Diplomacy for the well-being of the Venezuelan people; and at the same time, we reject the imposition of the criminal and illegal unilateral coercive measures that violate the human rights, the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and International Law; and we call for the immediate lifting of such measures that hinder the right to trade and economic exchange with other States while impeding the right

to development.

14.Demand once again of the government of the United States of America to change the hostile policy towards the sister Republic of Cuba, including the immediate and unconditional lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade; the cessation of subversive, illegal and covert operations, also those using information and communications technologies, violating the sovereignty and the right of peoples to self-determination; as well as the end of the absurd and unjustified inclusion of the Republic of Cuba in the spurious and arbitrary list of State Sponsors of Terrorism of the United States Department of State.

15.Reiterate ALBA-TCP's strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

16.Likewise, express our solidarity with the brotherly Peruvian people that has been subjected to a continuous institutional crisis, resulting in a series of events that threaten the stability and the welfare of the majority. We reject the political trap created by the right-wing forces of that country against the Constitutional President Pedro Castillo, forcing him to take measures that were later used by his adversaries in parliament to oust him from office; we repudiate the repression by the law enforcement agencies against the Peruvian people who are defending a government democratically elected at the polls and we call for dialogue, understanding and maturity of all political, economic, and social actors of the Republic of Peru, as well as we raise our voices to guarantee the fundamental rights of this brother people.

17.Reaffirm the Declaration of the Third Extraordinary Meeting of the Political Council, held on September 26, 2013, in New York City, and, in this regard, we confirm the importance for ALBA-TCP to continue the coordination and defense of inclusive multilateralism in multilateral scenarios and forums. In this sense, we express our determination to strengthen the criteria convergence, the coordination among delegations and to firmly follow this direction.

18.Urge to increase international solidarity with the brotherly people of the Republic of Haiti, through cooperation mechanisms and resource and technology transfer, based on full respect for the sovereignty and self-determination of that brotherly people.

19.Welcome the resumption of the peace dialogues between the Government of Colombia and the ELN, in which two ALBA-TCP member states are serving as guarantors and alternative host countries.

20.Thank comrade Sacha Llorentty Solíz for the work done as the head of the ALBA-TCP Executive Secretariat and reiterate our best wishes for success in his new tasks.

21.Welcome the appointment of comrade Ambassador Félix Plasencia González as the new ALBA-TCP Executive Secretary, wishing him every success in his term of office.

22.Highlight the efforts to continue strengthening ALBA-TCP a unifying mechanism for the defense of peace, democracy, stability and the well-being of the peoples of Our America.

Havana, December 14, 2022


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