[News] ALBA Summit - Venezuela

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Sun Apr 19 10:54:35 EDT 2009


http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2009/april/vier17/ALBA.html

Unity, firmness and solidarity characterize 7th ALBA Summit

"We have no other option than to unite in order 
to confront the economic crisis," affirms Raúl in his address to the Summit

• Chávez welcomes Raúl at Venezuela’s Cumaná 
Airport, both of them receive Evo Morales a few minutes later

Jorge Martín Blandino / Photos: Geovani Fernández

PRESIDENT Raúl Castro Ruz is leading the Cuban 
delegation to the 7th ALBA Presidential Summit 
(Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our 
America), which began yesterday in Camaná, 
capital of the state of Sucre, Venezuela.

Raúl and Chávez receive Evo

Raúl and Chávez receive Evo

Raúl addresses the Summit

Raúl addresses the Summit

Chávez opened the meeting by greeting all the 
delegations present and moved on give a sound 
analysis of the current international economic 
crisis, the illegal and unjust blockade of Cuba 
and its absurd exclusion from the inter-American system.

He immediately gave the floor to the Cuban 
leader. Raúl used the fewest words possible to 
set out the causes and consequences of the 
current crisis and the absurdity of trying to 
overcome it via mechanisms that, like the IMF, 
contributed to accentuating its effects.
He emphasized the importance of solutions being 
based on the widest world consensus possible and 
not on agreements between a few powerful countries.

The Cuban president highlighted the contribution 
that Unified Regional Compensation System (SUCRE) 
could make in the search for greater economic independence.

"Our nations so not have the capacity on their 
own to transform the international world order, 
but we do have the power to lay down new bases 
and construct our own economic relations," he affirmed.

He likewise ratified Cuba’s vocation of 
solidarity with the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The presidents of Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua 
and Paraguay then spoke, as did the prime 
ministers of Dominica and St. Vincent and the 
Grenadines; the latter has officially applied for entry into the ALBA.

The Ecuadorian foreign minister and Miguel 
D’Escoto, president of the UN General Assembly 
likewise addressed the meeting. All of them 
confirmed their agreement with the documents 
presented to the Summit for consideration, their 
support of Cuba and their rejection of the blockade.

On behalf of the Cuban people and Fidel, Raúl 
expressed thanks for those sincere manifestations 
of solidarity toward Cuba, an idea shared by the 
overwhelming majority of nations, apart from a few well-known exceptions.

In relation to the OAS, he said that he was not 
going to respond to its secretary general’s 
statement, given that Fidel had already done so 
in his Reflections. He noted that the history of 
that organization oozed blood in all parts.

He recalled the ignominious role of the OAS in 
acts of aggression against the people of 
Guatemala in the 1950s and its subsequent 
complicity in attacks on and acts of terrorism 
against Cuba, which resulted in thousands of victims.

As examples of that, he noted the epidemic 
provoked by the hemorrhagic dengue virus, the 
sabotage of the Cuban passenger plane off the 
coast of Barbados that killed 73 people, and the 
mercenary Bay of Pigs invasion.

"They didn’t expel us from the OAS at the 
beginning of 1961," he stated, "so that the 
organization could recognize the puppet 
government which it intended to bring from the 
United States to the beachhead it wanted to 
occupy in Cuba. That puppet government would 
immediately ask for an invasion by the U.S. armed 
forces, an action that would have cost hundreds 
of thousands of our people’s lives, as was the 
case in Guatemala, without the slightest complaint from the OAS.

Raúl clarified that Cuba was expelled in January 
1962, because a direct invasion by the US army 
was planned. "That is the sad reality that led to 
the so-called Missile Crisis in October 1962," he concluded.

He recalled that the Cuban government has 
publicly expressed his disposition to talk with 
the U.S. authorities on any issue, on a basis of 
absolute respect for sovereignty and self-determination.

In relation to accusations concerning the 
sentences handed down to mercenaries on the U.S. 
payroll and terrorists sanctioned by Cuban laws, 
the Cuban president ratified a will to set them 
free "if they release our five heroes imprisoned in U.S. jails.
In response to Raúl’s apologies for having spoken 
again, Chávez stated: "Cuba has spoken!" followed 
by an embrace and an ovation from those present.

After the session the leaders moved on to 
Ayacucho Park in the city’s historic quarter to 
lay a wreath at the statue of the Grand Marshall 
Sucre. A large crowd of enthusiastic Cumaná residents awaited them there.

The high point of the day was a visit to the 
Sucre Garrison, where Chávez was stationed as a 
young lieutenant. It was there where his political concerns began to arise.

"¡Viva Cuba! ¡Viva Fidel! ¡Viva Raúl!"

That was how Chávez received the Cuban president 
on the forecourt of Cumaná airport, in the 
burning sun of this city, whose climate is 
similar to the eastern region of Cuba.

In an improvised meeting with the press, the two 
leaders spoke of the recent advances of the Latin 
American and Caribbean peoples and underlined 
that April is historically a month of great 
popular victories, like those of Cuba in 1961 
over the mercenary invasion and the Venezuelan 
response to the reactionary coup d’état in 2002.

Translated by Granma International




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