Argentina has great expectations about the coming summit for the official creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean states [Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños] CELAC, scheduled to take place next December 2 and 3, 2011, in Venezuela. CELAC has been spearheaded by Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez.
In a ceremony in Buenos Aires, Foreign Affairs minister Hector Timerman said that “The mere fact of bringing together, united, all countries of Latin America and the Caribbean is something that history will recall.” He added that the inclusion of the Caribbean is “crucial piece in the unity recovery process for the region which had been divided, many times by fictitious reactions which were inspired in the attitudes of the dominating powers of the time.”
President of Ecuador Rafael Correa also praised the move saying that his aspiration would be for CELAC to replace the Organization of American States (OAS), which he finds is too much under the influence of “hegemonic countries.” Correa questioned that Latin American problems should be addressed in Washington, when the US does not recognize the Pact of San Jose de Costa Rica on fundamental guarantees.
In reference to CELAC, the host President, Hugo Chávez, emphasized that Latin America is now no longer with its back turned to the Eastern Caribbean and said that “we will carry out this summit to ensure that Latin America and the Caribbean will be consolidated as a zone of peace, of democracy.”
For the moment, the following leaders have been confirmed: Argentina (Cristina Fernández), Brasil (Dilma Roussef), Bolivia (Evo Morales), Cuba (Raúl Castro), Chile (Sebastián Piñera), Colombia (Juan Manuel Santos), Ecuador (Rafael Correa), Guyana (Bharrat Jagdeo), Guatemala (Álvaro Colom), Nicaragua (Daniel Ortega), México (Felipe Calderón), Paraguay (Fernando Lugo), and Uruguay (José Mujica).
For original articles, see http://en.mercopress.com/2011/11/23/argentina-has-great-hopes-with-the-caribbean-back-in-the-latinamerican-fold (in English) and http://www.avn.info.ve/contenido/CELAC-integración-regional-sin-tutelaje-del-norte (in Spanish)