Monday, December 5th 2011 - 04:19 UTC

A mild, good-intentions, no surprises marks the CELAC Caracas Declaration

The new Latin American and Caribbean organization backed Argentina's claim to sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and slammed US sanctions on Cuba at the end of a two day summit in the capital of Venezuela, hosted by President Hugo Chavez.

United in our differences said Chavez, at the centre of the official picture

But the 33-member Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, (including Cuba’s Raul Castro and specifically excluding the US and Canada) drew short of any more overt anti-Western rhetoric as some analysts had predicted at the meeting which had the self-proclaimed “anti-imperialist” and leader of the Bolivarian revolution Chavez as the main star.

Rather, its 22 final declarations ranged wordily but mildly over the need to combat global ills like price speculation, drugs, terrorism, nuclear arms and cruelty to migrants.

“I don't think we're exaggerating if we call it a historic day” said Chavez, 57, for whom the summit achieved two aims: setting up a regional body without the United States and Canada, and allowing him to showcase his recovery from cancer treatment.

“United in our differences, we must demand respect,” Chavez told the assembly. “No more interference, we've had enough.”

Chavez and other populist leaders like Raul Castro of Cuba, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Evo Morales of Bolivia and Rafael Correa of Ecuador say the century old hemisphere-wide Organization of American States has always been under the thumb of Washington.

However conservative-led nations or with non-engaging diplomacy like Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Brazil have clearly ensured the CELAC does not become a mouthpiece for them, with the final declarations relatively mild and next year's meeting set for Santiago, Chile.

The Caracas Declaration was followed by an adjoining document where it blasts the US for the Cuban embargo; calls for Falklands sovereignty discussions between Argentina and UK; commits support for Haiti; backs the consumption and use of coke leaves, according to ‘ancestral’ indigenous traditions; supports Ecuador’s climate change experiences; calls for easier sea access for landlocked Paraguay; promises aid for Central America to confront the world crisis and natural disasters; condemns the criminalization of migration and peoples’ traffic; congratulates itself as the only densely populated region of the world with no nuclear weapons; reaffirms commitment to fight terrorism and drugs and reiterates as official policies social inclusion and food security.

During the two day meeting, debate was fluid with no clashes or heated discussions and delegations were exposed to a litany of repeated presentations: Colombia said it was willing to a political solution to the ongoing armed conflict with the drug-funded guerrillas and asked support for a Colombian candidate to the International Labour Organization; landlocked Bolivia’s Evo Morales asked for a sea outlet and an end of Armed Forces trained following the US model and doctrine; Ecuador’s Correa complained about its ongoing struggle with the media and the ‘monopolistic conglomerates’ that manipulate public opinion.

 

4 comments Feed

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1 xbarilox (#) Dec 05th, 2011 - 08:07 am Report abuse
were you waiting a declaration of war?
2 Alejomartinez (#) Dec 05th, 2011 - 12:46 pm Report abuse
Not at all. We're civilized nations. Congrats Argentina on the strong support for Argentina's “legitimate rights” over the Malvinas!
3 Yuleno (#) Dec 05th, 2011 - 01:41 pm Report abuse
It won't be given any credence because it's support for Cuba.It will be dismiss as left/communist talk.The best way to defend injustice is to call those who speak for justice,leftist/communist.But why do they trade with China?
4 GeoffWard2 (#) Dec 05th, 2011 - 08:56 pm Report abuse
Not thought through.
Anodyne and/or stir-crazy?
Too big; too diffuse; and off-the-wall.

It will take much needed energy away from the more focussed and therefore potentially more effective regional groupings - eg CAN & Mercosur in the trading province.

Pressure group politics from within CELAC will so easily ham-string such focussed organisations.
Oil monies and national profits (where they exist in the profitable parts of Latin America) will drain away like water into sand as funds become dispersed ever more thinly to ever more marginal effect (Laws of diminishing returns).

I can hear it now :

So, by a majority vote, we are all agreed. Brasil's oil revenues will be disbursed equitably and proportionately to all the states within CELAC. Long Live The Bolivarian Revolution. Hurrah! Hurrah!“

. . .

”So, by a majority vote we are all agreed,
no more trading with the satanic USA until all nuclear devices are removed from the Southern hemisphere and the Carribean.“
[Hurrah! Hurrah!]

”Now let's all join hands and sing the CELAC National Anthem.”

And what did happen to Parlasur?

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