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ALBA: Example of a True Alliance

CUBA, June 1, 2010. Experts in the hemisphere have recently debated in Havana the characteristics and performance of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) created in 2004 in the Cuban capital by the leader of the Revolution Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Many things can be said about the regional institution, above all, we can reaffirm that it has imposed a change in the economic, political and social sectors of our nations.

ALBA was a revolutionary response to US attempts to install the so called Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in our region.

It was a way to cancel the role of garbage dump for “Made in the USA” merchandise and supplier of raw materials that Washington designed for the region.

Without a doubt, ALBA was at the time of its creation, a response to the FTA, but also the beginning of a new type of integration system that left behind all recent Latin American experiences, based in pure commercial context.

For ALBA what was worrisome was not, in the strictest regional context, the struggle for tariffs or export quotas. Complementary conditions and the recognition of the asymmetry among our nations was the first mainstay to take into consideration in any agreement or action.

Justice and equality are the basis of all economic negotiation, from energy security and the plans of agricultural and food development to the large Grand National industries already working in several of the ALBA member nations.

This new style of integration has led huge and powerful efforts to the social sector. Among some of the projects is the Operation Milagro eye program, massive literacy campaign or specialized studies to incorporate handicapped people into society in different nations, and all other emergency programs directed to our nations.

This integration project does not only deal with economy, but also prioritizes the needs of humanity.

We cannot forget that ALBA was the first Latin American entity to strongly condemn the fascist coup in Honduras, orchestrated by the local oligarchy and the extreme right wing in the United States in addition to promoting the global isolation of the coup perpetrators, measure which Latin America still complies with.

These are some of the most important values that we can proudly mention about this regional institution which breaks patterns, establishes guidelines, creates….and builds in compliance with ethical principles. (Cubaminrex- ACN)

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