Category Archives: ALBA

ALBA defends Paraguayan President Lugo against coup attempt by oligarchy

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM ALBA

Translated by Lizzie Phelan

The member countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, ALBA-TCP, reject the manoeuvre of sectors of Paraguay’s political right to initiate impeachment proceedings against the constitutional President of the sister Republic, Fernando Lugo.

These proceedings seek the removal of President Lugo, and the installation of an illegitimate government to take Paraguay backwards to the old obsolete political practices.

We in ALBA-TCP reiterate our support for the democratic government of President Lugo, who can only be changed by a vote of the Paraguayan people that elected him.

We call the Paraguayan people to defend democracy, reiterating that they have the support of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Finally, we urge all democratic nations of the world to support the sovereignty of the Paraguayan people and the peaceful and democratic development of this sister nation.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 21, 2012

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San Salvador: 70,000 march against proposed privatization law on May Day

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May 3, 2012

Tens of thousands turnout in San Salvador to defend the rights of the working class on May 1, International Workers Day.

Over 70,000 workers, students, campesinos and campesinas, community organizations, and members of the left Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, FMLN, party took to the streets of San Salvador to march for International Workers Day, or May Day. Marching in blocks representing individual unions, campesino organizations and other sectors of the Salvadoran left, participants carried huge banners with messages like: “No More ARENA Privatizations in the Country, Not in Social Security, Not in the Geothermic Energy Company, and No Public Partnerships with Thieves!” This message echoed one of the primary demands of the labor movement – that the Legislative Assembly reject the proposed Public-Private Partnership law, introduced earlier this year by the Funes Administration.

The Public-Private Partnership Law would create the legal framework to concede public services and public works to national and transnational private corporations. According to economist Evelyn Julia Martínez who has been studying the proposed law, the US government – through its bilateral Partnership for Growth program with El Salvador – and the Salvadoran private business sector are pushing for the law’s approval.

As the masses of marchers arrived in downtown San Salvador, they rallied in the Civic Plaza as rock bands played new renditions of traditional revolutionary music and university groups performed street theater. Union leaders then led the crowd in one minute of applause to commemorate the Chicago martyrs who gave their lives in the struggle for an eight-hour workday in May 1886.

Following the applause Francisco García, Secretary General of the Public Pension Workers’ Union (SITINPEP), addressed the crowd on behalf of the organized workers. He called for unity within the social movement to push forward greater changes in the country and to stop the Public-Private Partnership Law. In addition to the “resounding no” to the proposed law, he announced the workers’ demands, including:

  • More progressive tax reforms and policies to fight tax evasion.
  • Raise the private sector minimum wage to match the $300/month public sector minimum wage.
  • No to mining and new hydroelectric dams.
  • Freedom to unionize.
  • Join and expand El Salvador’s participation in the alternative regional initiatives of the Americas, particularly the solidarity trade block, ALBA – the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas.
  • Maintain and expand government social programs in education, healthcare, and agriculture.
  • Reject the intervention of the US government in violation of the country’s sovereignty and self-determination.

García went on to say, “We have advanced in some changes but not far enough. We are constructing a process and I want to recognize the only political tool on the left that supports the people of this country, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, and call on them to accompany us in our struggle for structural changes.”

After García spoke, the FMLN Secretary General Medardo González addressed the crowd. He responded directly to many of the demands and issues that García had mentioned and publicly declared that the FMLN is in complete opposition to the Public-Private Partnership Law and will vote against it in the Legislature. González went on to say:

“I want to close ranks with Francisco and with the struggles of all workers to demand their rights. We must have the political clarity to bring people together and assure that at the next elections there is a popular victory for the FMLN so we can continue together advancing the changes in favor of our country’s workers.”

Click here to see more May Day photos.

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‘Summit of the Americas’

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Growing opposition to Cuba’s exclusion

By Gloria La Riva
March 16, 2012

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa is boycotting the "Summit of the Americas."

As this article was being prepared for publication, Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa announced he will not attend the Summit of the Americas. “Personally I am not willing to go back to participating in these summits, where there is no debate about the problems of the Latin American peoples,” said Correa at a press conference March 15 in Ankara Turkey .

He is boycotting the summit because of the U.S. refusal to allow Cuba to participate

“In our region we have very serious problems, but these are never discussed in those summits. The embargo that the U.S. imposes on Cuba; that is never discussed, nor the British occupation of the Malvinas Isles.

“I will be frank. I like the United States because I studied there, but I cannot accept that one country excludes another. It seems terrible to me and I don’t want to hurt my U.S. friends if I say that the Latin American peoples don’t accept any more for those type of summits to be organized.”

The sixth “Summit of the Americas” will convene April 14-15 in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, with 34 heads of state from North and South America, to discuss various economic and political themes affecting the region.

All the countries of the Western Hemisphere will be present, except one: Cuba. For the sixth time that the summit has met, the U.S. government has forced Cuba’s exclusion. This year, several progressive governments, members of the ALBA alliance, threatened to boycott the conference if the socialist island nation were excluded.

On March 8, after host country Colombia announced there was “no consensus” for Cuba’s invitation, Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla held a press conference.

“This is no surprise, it has been the chronicle of an anticipated exclusion,” stated Rodríguez. “With enormous disrespect for Colombia, for Latin America and the Caribbean, the U.S. spokespersons from the first had decreed the exclusion of Cuba. …

“Cuba never asked to be invited to any of the so-called Summits of the Americas, it never did in the past, nor for this one. We simply responded that, if we were invited with equal conditions, and with full and equal rights, we would act with principles and with truth, respectfully as we always have.”

Rodríguez also remarked, “These summits, like the Organization of American States, notoriously, have only served for the United States to exercise its domination. The most recent events prove this.”

Cuba excluded since the first Summit

Since the hemispheric summit was first convened in Miami in 1994, the U.S. government has exerted pressure on other states, to make it clear that Cuba would not be welcome, and cannot be invited.

Washington fears that its objective of promoting its imperialist interests across the hemisphere—through free-trade agreements and military expansion—will be impacted by Cuba’s presence.

Cuba’s influence and prestige has grown considerably in the Americas in the last two decades, with its successful advocacy of mutual economic cooperation among some of the most oppressed countries. Various Latin American and Caribbean countries have joined together to resist U.S. policy.

One major development was the formation of ALBA in 2004. Known as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, ALBA was established as an alliance of countries to promote mutual economic and social cooperation. The core initiating countries were Cuba and Venezuela. Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines have since joined ALBA. Honduras was a member until the U.S.-backed right-wing coup of June 2008.

Major ALBA campaigns have largely wiped out illiteracy in Venezuela and Bolivia with the work of Cuban teachers. Cuban and Venezuelan doctors have conducted medical operations on hundreds of thousands of vision-impaired poor people in Latin America and the Caribbean to restore their sight. Petroleum from Venezuela has been provided to Cuba and other Caribbean islands in exchange for goods and services.

ALBA runs directly counter to Washington’s interests of super-profits and domination.

Indeed, the fourth Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in November 2005, was a major defeat for the U.S. attempt to aggressively impose the super-exploitative “Free Trade Area of the Americas” trade agreement. Thousands of Latin American and other activists joined for a “Peoples Summit” nearby to counter the U.S. agenda.

‘Bury the FTAA’

President Hugo Chávez famously declared to a rally of 50,000 people at the conclusion: “We have come here to bury the FTAA!”

This year, Washington’s dictates met with resistance by the ALBA states, who demanded that Cuba not be excluded from the summit.

On March 1, with typical U.S. imperialist arrogance, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that “there is absolutely no intention” of inviting Cuba to the Summit.

It was not for the United States to decide, at least not officially. As host country, Colombia had the prerogative. Colombia’s Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguín announced that Colombia would seek consensus among the other countries before making a decision. In previous years, Colombia would likely have sided outright with the U.S., without hesitation.

But with the threat of boycott by ALBA and growing support from other Latin American states for Cuba’s inclusion, Colombia’s President José Manuel Santos felt obligated to travel to Cuba on March 7 to meet with Cuban leaders Raúl and Fidel Castro.

In his March 8 press conference, Rodríguez responded to the idea that a discussion would take place behind closed doors during the summit about Cuba’s future participation, saying: “[T]hat does not interest Cuba. It is not acceptable for Cuba that a private meeting among the governments of the United States and Latin America and Caribbean states take up this theme in our absence.

“Latin America does not accept that anymore and it is constructing a project of sovereignty and regional integration, which the United States cannot stop, although it will try to do so. The presence of Cuba in Cartagena, from a distance, cannot be hidden.”

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Nicaragua’s Ortega pitches socialist bank to give loans with no conditions

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March 8, 2012

Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez (l.) and Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega embrace during the welcoming ceremony for the eight-nation Bolivarian Alliance bloc (ALBA) summit at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela

Bad credit? No credit? No problem!

President Daniel Ortega is putting on his banker’s visor and taking time off from denouncing the evils of savage capitalism to try to raise startup capital for the newly announced Bank of ALBA, or BALBA.

The president-turned banking booster told Nicaraguans last night that he’d feel a lot better if Nicaragua took some of its $1.7 billion in international reserves out of established banks around the world and put it the trusted care of BALBA, which is almost one week old.

The birth of BALBA was celebrated during last weekend’s summit of ALBA nations in Venezuela. The idea is that each member country—Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines—support the bank to the tune of what each economy can afford.

In Nicaragua’s case, the country is expected to cough up 1% of its international reserves, whose purse strings are controlled exclusively by the autonomous Central Bank. Ortega is also asking the Sandinista-controlled National Assembly to pony up $4 million for the ALBA bank.

Ortega said Nicaragua’s international reserves are currently just sitting in banks and not being put to good use through loans.

“The most we can say about the reserve banks is that they return us our money, but we can’t make loans,” he said.

Ortega said BALBA will give loans to member states without any conditions to pay for development and social projects—a lending practice that the president thinks will make the bank solid and viable.

“The Bank of ALBA gives us a lot of security because we are talking about a bank that is socialist and just, where we can go to ask for money for productive activities, for social projects, for land titling,” said the self-styled banking lobbyist.

“This will allow us to have a bank that will not put any conditions (on lending)… this is good news because it will allow us to be in better conditions to confront this crisis,” Ortega said.

Ortega said BALBA will also try to attract funds from wealthier nations, to give the bank even more liquidity.

The Sucre cometh

The push to form a joint banking venture is part of a greater plan for ALBA’s financial integration, which will soon include the incorporation of a common currency for commercial exchange known as the Sucre, or more cumbersomely the Unified System for Regional Compensation.

Last weekend in Caracas, Ortega promised that Nicaragua would approve use of the Sucre in the coming weeks, now that he controls a supermajority in the National Assembly.

The Sucre is intended to replace the U.S. dollar as the currency for commercial exchanges between ALBA nations.

While Nicaragua’s incorporation of the Sucre is just around the corner, few understand how it will work or what that will mean for the country’s economy. The Sucre has already been used as a virtual currency in transactions between Ecuador and Venezuela, but questions remain in Nicaragua.

“I don’t think that this will free exporting agencies from paying Nicaraguan exporters in dollars,” says former Central Bank president Mario Arana. “But it could be used to facilitate buying and selling between agencies that so far are monopolizing commercial transactions” between Venezuela and Nicaragua.

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ALBA advances towards “Alternative Economic Model”, pursues anti-imperialist agenda

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By Rachael Boothroyd

Caracas, February 6th 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Member countries of Latin America’s alternative integration bloc, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), met in the Venezuelan capital this weekend in order to discuss the advancement of the organisation at its 11thofficial summit.

Following a meeting on Friday to draft proposals and set an agenda, the presidents discussed a series of themes relating to ALBA’s role within the regional economy and various foreign policy issues. The body also approved several declarations relating to global political concerns, including pronouncements on Syria and the current diplomatic altercation between the UK and Argentina with relation to the Falkland Islands.

Bank of the ALBA

At the end of the summit’s first day, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that member countries had agreed to contribute 1% of their international reserves towards the bloc’s main bank in order to create a reserve fund.

The Bank of the Alba was established in 2008 with the intention of providing economic support to people-centred regional projects and to contribute to sustainable social and economic development across the region. The Bank is also cited as acting as a continental alternative to the International Monetary Fund.

At the summit, ALBA member countries agreed that the financial reinforcement of the bank would be pivotal to the development of the bloc. Chavez also reaffirmed Venezuela’s commitment to funding regional development projects by announcing his intention to increase petroleum production in the Orinoco Belt to that end.

“We should increase oil production from 3 to 3.5 million barrels a day, and by 2014 we should be at 4 million barrels. This is going to allow us greater flexibility in all of these projects,” said the head of state.

According to Chavez, Venezuela’s contribution to the bank will amount to around US$300 million.

Regional Currency

The heads of state also discussed the possibility of increasing the commercial use of the sucre, the bloc’s virtual currency. The sucre is currently used for direct trading between the ALBA countries, allowing them to circumvent the U.S dollar and minimise the foreign-exchange risk.

According to Ricardo Menendez, Venezuelan Vice-minister of Production and Economy, 431 financial transactions using the sucre were carried out between ALBA countries last year, amounting to over US$216 million worth of trade. However, Ecuadorean president, Rafael Correa, called for the use of the currency to be increased.

“Those free trade agreements, free markets, [with]…zero indemnity, annihilating the weak, that’s suicide for our countries…We should encourage fair trade; unite our reserves and financial capacity in the Bank of the Alba and avoid using foreign currencies,” he urged.

Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista president of Nicaragua, also expressed his desire to boost the use of the bloc’s currency. In statements, Ortega said that he hoped to begin using the sucre within the next few weeks, subject to approval from Nicaragua’s national assembly.

Anti-imperialist Agenda

As well as condemning what it referred to as the “systemic policies of destabilisation and interventionism” currently being implemented in Syria, the bloc also signed a document in support of Puerto Rico’s right to self-determination and full independence.

Further, ALBA reiterated its support for the Argentinean government in its diplomatic dispute with the UK over the Falkland Islands. In a special communication, the bloc called for a negotiated settlement to the Falkland’s question which does not violate the United Nation’s 31/49 resolution. The ALBA’s statements come as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez also expressed his solidarity with the Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner on Saturday, stating that the South American nation would “not be alone” in the event of a conflict.

Correa suggested that the bloc should move to impose sanctions against the UK government due to its unwillingness to engage in dialogue with the Argentinean government to resolve the issue. Last week, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, revealed that he had sent a warship to the Falklands as a “routine” measure.

Chavez has confirmed that the ALBA group will now review what sanctions may be taken in response to the “negative dialogue” and “ridiculous military threat” from David Cameron’s coalition government.

The ALBA also struck out against the Organisation of American States for its exclusionary stance with regards to Cuba. In accordance with a proposal from Correa, the bloc said it would consider not attending the Summit of the Americas, due to be held in Colombia this April, if Cuba were not invited.

“We could take this to the host country, which is the Colombian government, with whom we have re-established political and commercial relations… I am in agreement with Rafael Correa, if Cuba isn’t invited, we will consider not attending, it’s a matter of dignity,” concluded Chavez.

Helping Haiti  

As part of the summit, the ALBA agreed to step up its humanitarian assistance to Haiti through the formation of an ALBA-Haiti work plan. The project will be aimed at providing emergency relief and facilitating reconstruction efforts in the Caribbean nation, which is still suffering the effects of the earthquake of January 2010.

Member countries also agreed to establish a Haiti fund in order to execute the projects and provide the country’s energy plants with fuel. Details will be finalised at a foreign ministers meeting in Haiti at the beginning of March.

In comments to the Venezuelan press, Haitian President Michel Martelly thanked the ALBA for its continued efforts to help the Caribbean nation in the wake of its humanitarian catastrophe. He added that the new ALBA plan would go towards alleviating extreme poverty in Haiti. Venezuela and Haiti also signed an independent bilateral agreement to increase cooperation between the two countries.

ALBA Expands

In the final act of the summit, the ALBA ratified St. Lucia and Surinam as two new honorary members to the bloc and confirmed that soon both countries would be full members of Venezuela’s energy integration organisation, Petrocaribe.

Other proposals that the group will now pursue include the creation of regional schools for social movements and the establishment of a communications secretary general; as well as the proposal to create a “defence counsel” for the bloc, which was submitted by Bolivian President Evo Morales.  

Formed in 2004 by Venezuela and Cuba, the ALBA is an alternative to U.S free trade agreements in the region and seeks to address unjust terms of trade by engaging in commerce on the basis of solidarity and cooperation. ALBA nations currently include; Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda. The governments of Haiti, Surinam and St. Lucia also attended the event as “participant observers”.

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ALBA Countries Denounce Media Manipulation in Syria

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December 3, 2011

Geneva, Dec 3 (Prensa Latina) The countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) denounced here the manipulation and media lies to justify an aggression against the people of Syria.

During a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the delegation of Ecuador expressed, on behalf of the group, solidarity with the Syrian government and people.

It recalled that in October, ALBA representatives visited the Arab country to learn about the real situation and to contribute to a pacific solution.

The resolution discussed in the Council “reflects the intentions to interfere in the internal affairs of Syria without contributing to dialogue and the search for peace”, denounced the Ecuadorian representation on behalf of the ALBA member countries.

That text, they said, lacks balance and could establish ominous precedents for genuine cooperation in the matter of human rights that are due to be sustained in the work of the UN Human Rights Council.

The document, promoted by the U.S. and the European Union, was approved on Thursday by 37 votes, six abstentions and the rejection of China, Russia, Cuba and Ecuador.

The ALBA members reiterated the importance of respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity and self-determination of Syria.

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Bolivian president blasts the UN and the “Insecurity Council” on Libya

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September 19, 2011

Evo Morales will be conferred a Political Science Honoris Causa award by the Havana University.

“What Security Council are we talking about? I’d say it’s an Insecurity Council” said Morales in Havana, Cuba, arguing that the combined NATO attack and bombings on Libya “is a shameful action for humanity”.

The Bolivian president forecasted that once Muahmar Gaddfi has been removed from office by force, Western powers will dispute the control of Libya’s vast oil and gas resources, “which they have always ambitioned”.

“There is much interest in continuing to accumulate capital in a few hands, in the hands of the world’s oligarchy, of the big trans-national corporations”, said Morales.

The Bolivian president arrived in Havana over the weekend to meet Cuban President Raul Castro and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez who is in Cuba for his fourth chemotherapy treatment.

President Morales will be honoured at the Havana University with the title of Doctor Honoris Causa in Political Science.

Morales from Havana travels to New York for the UN General Assembly where he anticipated “some reflections about the crisis of capitalism, and inhuman interventions such as the one practiced in Libya”.

Bolivia’s first indigenous president said developing nations such as Latin America should take advantage of the current capitalism crisis and cut dependency from the US and the European markets.

Before leaving Morales is expected to meet with the ailing fragile Fidel Castro, father of the Cuban revolution, who stepped down in 2006 and he considers an inspiring “sage old man”.

Bolivia together with the ALBA members (Bolivarian Alternative Alliance of the Americas) have strongly condemned the ousting of Gaddafi’s regime by a ‘gang’ of NATO ‘bullies’ and have refused to recognize the new Libyan authorities.

US, Nato and most multilateral organizations such as the IMF have officially recognized Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC).

ALBA is the brainchild of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and includes, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and several English speaking Caribbean islands (highly dependent on Venezuelan oil)

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ALBA Bloc Moves to Halt “Imperialism” through United Nations

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By RACHAEL BOOTHROYD – VENEZUELANALYSIS.COM

Caracas, September 11th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez stated that the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) must act to “put the brakes on imperialism” this Saturday, as ALBA countries announced that they would lobby the United Nations (UN) to undertake a series of measures, including the official recognition of the Palestinian state.

Amongst the agreements reached during the ALBA’s 6th Political Council meeting in Caracas, member countries confirmed that they would petition the UN to create a committee to “investigate and monitor” the use of Libya’s financial reserves, which were frozen at the beginning of the NATO intervention and are currently expected to be transferred to Libya’s National Transitional Council (TNC).

The U.S. government began the release of US$ 1.5 billion of the frozen reserves to Libya’s TNC last week, after the UN Security Council approved the transfer under “conditions of humanitarian exemption”.

According to a UN Security Council report, the U.S. request was presented to the Council in a move to bypass the Libyan Sanctions Committee, where it was initially vetoed by the African Union (AU) due to concerns over affording legitimacy to the TNC government. The governments of Great Britain and France have also been authorised to release US$ 1.6 billion and US$ 2.2 billion to the TNC respectively, reports the New York Times.

As such, ALBA confirmed that it will act as a bloc within the UN and “solicit the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the total transparency and strict financial accountability of member states with respect to Libya and Syria”, as well as promote a debate within the UN General Assembly regarding the “dangerous precedents” set by the intervention in Libya.

Several other agreements featured in the document also related to the current situation in Libya. As well as rejecting the possibility that Libya’s seat within the United Nations “should become occupied by a transitory and illegitimate authority, imposed by foreign intervention,” the organisation also called on the international community to investigate the “crimes committed by NATO against the people of Libya”, including civilian deaths and damages to the country’s infrastructure.

ALBA and International Support for Libya’s TNC

Although the TNC government has received considerable support from major sectors of the international community, ALBA has maintained its critical stance and has so far refused to recognise the TNC as the legitimate government of Libya. The organisation denounced the U.S. government and its allies for having consistently “ignored” calls from the African Union for a negotiated settlement to the Libyan conflict and thus preventing the possibility of a peaceful solution. The AU has also stated that it will not recognise the Libyan interim government, despite significant pressure from the UN to do so.

In a press conference on Saturday, Ecuadorean Vice-chancellor, Kintto Lucas, confirmed that the ALBA organisation had solicited UN member countries to oppose the TNC, given that a sustained conflict could still emerge from the current situation in Libya.

“Lies and Manipulation” from Corporate Media 

During the meeting, ALBA countries also condemned mainstream media coverage of events in Libya and stated that they had been “complicit” in creating the argumentation and justification for intervention in the North African country.

As well as organising a “Summit for Alternative Communication Networks” to counteract the corporate media, ALBA stated that it would put together a collection of the “lies and manipulation” that the mainstream press employed throughout the Libyan conflict and publish it through regional press agencies such as TeleSur.

“The initiatives today will allow us to open up a clear space, because what we are proposing is a definite plan of action in defence of the truth,” said Venezuelan Foreign Relations Minister, Nicolas Maduro.

The teleSUR news agency was praised by Venezuelan president Chávez last week for being one of the only news sources to have consistently reported “the truth” on events on Libya.

ALBA Recognises Palestinian State

In a “special communication” published by the organisation, ALBA also officially recognised the Palestinian state according to its pre-1967 borders and with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital. The communication stated that ALBA ministers offered their “full support” for the Palestinian state and its right to a seat at the UN.

“Ministers also supported the right of the Palestinian state to act as a full member of the United Nations, at the same time as deploring the fact that such an aspiration might be hampered by the use of the anachronistic veto privilege by a member of the Security Council.”

Bruno Rodriguez, Cuban Foreign Relations Minister, commented that “Israel’s impunity with respect to the massacre of the Palestinian people, the blockade of Gaza, would not have been possible without the constant veto of the Security Council…(which is) hypocrisy and falsity when the Security Council talks of protection for civilians and innocents in its resolutions.”

Other topics discussed at the ALBA meeting were climate change and the creation of a “Social Movements Committee” within the organisation. The organisation also rejected what it termed as the latest “U.S. attack on Venezuela”, in relation to the recent announcement by the U.S. Treasury Department that it would sanction four members of Venezuela’s political and military establishment.

Full text of the official declaration:

SPECIAL DECLARATION OF THE MINISTERS

OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF ALBA-TCP

ON THE SITUATION OF LIBYA AND SYRIA 

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America, gathered in Caracas, Venezuela on September 9, 2011, considering the Special Declaration of the Political Council of March 4, 2011, and the Special Declaration of Social Ministerial Council of March 19, 2011, condemned the NATO intervention in Libya, and the illegal military aggression carried out under a Security Council resolution by the UN; opportunistically taking advantage of the internal political conflict in that country.

They claim that NATO has conducted a military operation in Libya of regime change under the doctrine of preventive war, manipulating the UN according to its geopolitical and economic interests, violating Security Council resolution 1973.

They demand the immediate and unconditional cessation of bombing and military intervention of NATO in Libyan territory.

They deplore the fact that NATO has disregarded the insistent efforts of the African Union in seeking a solution for dialogue and peace to the internal conflict in Libya.

They also deplore the role of accomplice of several major international media outlets, which have joined the interests of aggression and have been provided to distort information about what is happening in Libya.

They express their most urgent warning on threats to repeat the same procedure against Syria, taking advantage of the political difficulties that Arab nation lives.

They reiterate their firm commitment to the right to self-determination of peoples of Libya and Syria.

They strongly reject any attempt by NATO or the Security Council of the UN to turn Libya into a protectorate.

In order to contribute to supporting the peace efforts that most of the world’s peoples claim, the Ministers agreed to direct the following actions:

• Promote the discussion at the UN General Assembly on the dangerous precedents that have been created around Libya and on the protection of the sovereign rights of the Arab nation in Africa and Libya, aimed at ensuring that Libya does not become a protectorate of NATO and Security Council of the UN.

• Promote the establishment of a Working Group of the General Assembly to investigate and monitor the use of the frozen funds of the financial reserves of Libya, so as it reports on its findings and conclusions to the Assembly.

• To call upon the international community to promote an investigation initiative conducted on crimes perpetrated by NATO in Libya, to the detriment of the Libyan people, the destruction of its infrastructure and deaths caused. To compile media manipulation and lies promoted by the Empire to justify the aggression against the Libyan people.

• Request the Secretary General of the United Nations full transparency and strict accountability to Member States with regard to their actions on the issue of Libya and Syria, and reaffirm that their role should respond to mandates agreed by the General Assembly, before taking further actions to intervene in Libya. Likewise, request the Secretary General a meeting with the ALBA-TCP to discuss the situation in Libya.

• Supporting a central role for the African Union’s efforts for peace in Libya

• Express their rejection to the fact that the seat corresponding to Libya in the UN be occupied by one faction or transitional authority illegitimately imposed by foreign intervention, and thus promote a substantive discussion on the United Nation’s General Assembly Credentials Committee aimed at preventing that the seat Libya be occupied until a government that is free and sovereign expression of the will of the Libyan people is constituted legitimately and without foreign intervention.

• Propose to the Syrian government in Damascus to send a mission of top representatives or foreign ministers of the ALBA-TCP and, if accepted, report on this situation to the Latin American and Caribbean countries through UNASUR, CARICOM, SICA and the Rio Group-CALC Unified Forum and invite those who wish to join this initiative.

• Promote a debate on the NAM Coordinating Bureau on the dangers looming over Syria.

• Support, together with the Non-Aligned members of the Security Council the draft resolution sponsored by Russia and China with regard to Syria.

• Sending the UN Secretary General this declaration and request that it be distributed among Member States of the United Nations as an official document of the General Assembly.

ALBA-TCP / Friday, September 09, 2011

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