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ALBA member countries examined reach of projects

Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua evaluated the progress of the common programs contained within the integration project known as the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), in a meeting of ministers representing the mechanism.

During the meeting, they assessed the development of negotiations for the ALBA Bank in an attempt to continue advancing the process of institutionalizing the bloc and decided the timetable for future meetings.

Foreign Ministers Felipe Pérez Roque (Cuba) and David Choquehuanca (Bolivia) took part in the inauguration of the second meeting of ALBA ministers on Thurdsday.

Venezuela was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Rodolfo Sanz and it is expected that Minister Nicolás Maduro will also join the meeting; while the Nicaraguan delegation is led by Nelson Artola, president of the Social Fund for Emergencies.

During the opening, Pérez Roque confirmed that the integration proposed by ALBA is the only road toward development in Latin America, understood as complementation based on cooperation and solidarity, and far removed from neoliberalism."We understand that no country on its own can confront the enormous challenges of the world today," he added.

He specified that the cardinal principle of this project is widespread solidarity among the peoples of America, which has the final goal of transforming nations into societies that are more just, cultured and participative."We are convinced that the ALBA will not become a reality through mercantile and egotistic criteria, but through the widest and most profound practice of coordination and complementation," he continued.

Likewise, he added that within this model, trade and investment are not ends in themselves but instruments to achieve fair development, at the same time proposing the active participation of the state as regulator and coordinator.In support of the project, the diplomat affirmed that there have been indisputable developments in the social, economic and energy fields, and he also mentioned the 800,000-plus people throughout the region who have received sight operations within the Operation Miracle program.

ALBA is an integration mechanism based on solidarity that was proposed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in order to counteract the Free Trade Area of the Americas promoted by the United States.

Source: Granma Internacional

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