The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) has become a reality 200 years after it was first planned by independence leader Simon Bolivar http://www.correodelorinoco.gob.ve/leer-en-linea/?id=2_2011-12-02
Leaders gathered in the Venezuelan capital city of Caracas on Friday to found the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (known as CELAC in Spanish), an organization that unites, for the first time, the 33 countries of the region in a single block to make decisions without outside influence.
This new body, in addition to serving as a forum for political dialogue, will have an agenda that includes strengthening unity, defending democracy, forging cooperation for economic and social development in the region, and even cultural exchange.Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, said that the selection of meeting sites demonstrates the will to give equal weight to South America, Central America and the Caribbean: “even [countries] with different political regimes, which puts in evidence the spirit of consensus and equilibrium that we are really seeking.”“The relationship between the countries of the Caribbean and South America was previously very limited, but now CELAC allows us to get to know one another and share our proposals and interests in a space for dialogue and integration,” the Ecuadorean representative said.CELAC indeed draws upon the experiences of other regional integration initiatives such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which has approved protocols for the defense of democracy involving sanctions for any rupture of constitutional order.As well as promoting democratic values and principles, the new institution has also declared its interest in making the region a zone of peace, “free from wars and nuclear weapons and with the capacity to resolve problems internally,” according to the Ecuadorean diplomat.On Saturday morning, a meeting of UNASUR will take place at which member states will discuss primarily economic issues, such as measures for confronting the global financial crisis and the entering into force of the Bank of the South.CELAC will come to a close Saturday afternoon with the signing of constitutive documents by heads of state at the headquarters of the Military Academy of Venezuela just southeast of Caracas.Meanwhile, diverse cultural activities will take place in Caracas to celebrate this historic moment for regional unity, which echoes the Congress of Panama in 1826 by bringing together Latin American and Caribbean countries without the hegemonic presence of the United States and Canada.
At his arrival in Venezuela, President of Cuba, Raúl Castro, said that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) might be considered as"the most important event in the 200 years of semi-independence" of Latin-America.
CHINA SUPPORTS CELAC http://www.avn.info.ve/contenido/china-expresses-support-celac The president of China, Hu Jintao, expressed this Friday, through a formal letter, his support to the constitution to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).The information was spread by the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who read out the letter during the foundational summit of the 33 countries bloc."Despite the distance between China and Latin America and the Caribbean, the friendship among our peoples goes back to ancient times. In the 21st century, China-Latin American relations have been developing in a fast and integral manner, accompanied by a permanent increase on cooperation in benefit of both in diverse areas," the letter reads."The day will come, when we start to sign agreements, for example: CELAC with China, and with many other countries and regions in the world,"
We will grow stronger, president of Brazil highlights http://www.avn.info.ve/contenido/together-we-will-grow-stronger-president-brazil-highlights "We do not want to look only at the interior of Brazil," she explained, "our country is big and it has the capacity to build jointly with our neighbors, our Latin American and Caribbean allies, te integration to transform our region into the potential that already has."Rousseff said that the newly born CELAC "is one of the great feats of the countries in our region" and she stressed that "together, we will be stronger." Afterwards she congratulated the Venezuelan Government for its significant contribution for this process of integration.Then, she put as an example of regional integration, the Universidad Federal de Integracion Latinoamericana (UNILA, Federal University of Latin American Integration), which has received students from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. UNILA is aimed at helping students affirm the Latin American identity in order to reclaim the history of our peoples, as well as foster sustainable development across Latin America. The university provides an institutional space where Latin American peoples come together and dedicate themselves to generating knowledge tied to the reality of local countries.The UNILA plans to expand its academic offer to all the countries in the region, Rousseff informed, and in 5 years the university is expected to enroll 10,000 students and 500 professors from the entire region.