[News] US Further Isolated as CELAC Rejects Regional Intervention

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Mon Feb 2 12:01:18 EST 2015

  US Further Isolated as CELAC Rejects Regional Intervention


By Rachael Boothroyd

Bogota, January 30th 2015 (Venezuelanalysis) The US is seeing its role 
in Latin America increasingly challenged, as the 33 member states of 
CELAC (the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) vehemently 
rejected North American intervention in the continent, and particularly 
the US-led blockade of Cuba and recently enacted sanctions against 
The comments were part of the "Belen Declaration," approved during the 
CELAC's third annual presidential summit, held on January 28th and 29th 
in Belen, Costa Rica. Formed in 2011, the CELAC was a political 
initiative proposed by former Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, who 
aimed to reconstruct Simon Bolivar's dream of a united Latin American 
"We reiterate our most profound rejection of the implementation of all 
coercive and unilateral measures and once more call on the US to end the 
economic, commercial and financial blockade which it has imposed on its 
sister nation for over five decades," reads the 22 page document.
The declaration includes 94 different points and is characterised by an 
emphasis on regional cooperation, social inclusion, the sovereignty and 
right to self determination of member states, as well as a commitment to 
tackling poverty and inequality.
Other points of action include an effort to generate sustainable models 
of production and consumption, the promotion of regional energy 
integration and to construct bilateral ties with other regional 
organisations, and particularly with the BRICS, (Brazil, Russia, India, 
China and South Africa), the African Union and the League of Arab 
States. The declaration also cites "South-South" cooperation as vital 
for regional development.
"We came with the spirit of the Liberator, Simon Bolivar's men and 
children, we came with his flag, the flag of unity," said Chavez's 
successor and current Venezuelan Head of State, Nicolas Maduro, who 
hailed the document as a "historic" declaration which represents a 
transcendental moment in the continent's independence.
"The Liberator foresaw the centuries that lay ahead and he sought the 
time to bring about unity between us. He said that this time had to be 
demarcated through legal mechanisms and 200 years later, it has fallen 
on this generation to carry this through,"
The CELAC is the first time than 33 countries in Latin America and the 
Caribbean have been united in a regional organisation without the 
presence of the US and Canada. The organisation brings together 
governments' from differing and even conflicting ideological 
orientations, including the rightwing governments' of Mexico and 
Colombia and the socialist administrations in Venezuela and Bolivia.
"Beyond ideological borders and the politics that separate us, there is 
a diverse America...(the strength of CELAC) is to have achieved unity in 
diversity, based on respect, solidarity and helping each other in the 
joint construction of Latin America and the Caribbean," said Maduro.
During the summit, the Pro-Tempore presidency of the organisation was 
officially passed over from Costa Rica to Rafael Correa of Ecuador, who 
applauded Venezuela and Nicaragua's initiative to have US colony, Puerto 
Rico, occupy a seat at CELAC's next summit. He stated that the action 
would "demonstrate that America is a region free of colonialism".
"CELAC must play a protagonistic role in accompanying the process of 
decolonisation in the Latin American and Caribbean region. In general, 
it should be the "go to" organisation for the resolution of conflicts or 
long standing issues which affect the countries in the region," stated 
the Ecuadorean president.
The Belen Document goes on to stress member states' commitment nuclear 
disarmament in Latin American and its support for the ongoing peace 
talks in Colombia, currently in the midst of an attempt to bring its 
more than 50 year civil war to an end. It also expressed solidarity with 
CARICOM's initiative to form a Reparations Commission for Caribbean 
countries affected by slavery and Argentina's plight against the vulture 
With the exception of the French Caribbean islands, the United States 
has directly and indirectly intervened or occupied all Latin American 
and Caribbean countries since the early 19th Century. More recent 
examples include support for attempted coups against the leftist 
governments of Venezuela (2002), Ecuador (2010) and Bolivia (2008), as 
well as for the successful coups against Manuel Zelaya in Honduras in 
2009 and Fernando Lugo, the leftist "Priest of Paraguay" in 2012.
"We are in the era of our America, of our Latin-Caribbean America. After 
200 years searching for our path, we have found it," declared Maduro.

Published on Jan 31st 2015 at 10.01am

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