Argentine President Alberto Fernández Friday said that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was not born to oppose or confront other institutions as he took over the body's leadership from Mexico.
Fernández also thanked CELAC's support to his country for the ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). I really appreciate it because you feel much stronger knowing that your Latin American and Caribbean brothers are accompanying you.
The Argentine leader also expressed his gratitude to all CELAC members for having unanimously chosen Argentina for the Pro Tempore Presidency of the body during 2022 and particularly his Mexican colleague Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose job at the helm of CELAC was also praised by the other delegations.
Fernández made those remarks in his closing speech at the XXII Summit of CELAC Foreign Ministers in Buenos Aires.
The CELAC countries advocated Friday for regional unity, while calling for progress in integration and strengthening dialogue to build a region of peace. Argentine Foreign Minister, Santiago Cafiero stressed CELAC's continuity despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard pointed out that under his country's pro tempore presidency it was possible to produce COVID-19 vaccines, among other achievements.
Venezuela's Foreign Minister Félix Plasencia denounced unilateral sanctions and the blockade against CELAC countries in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. In turn, he thanked the cooperation in health matters that Argentina and Mexico provided to the region through the supply of vaccines and recognized the work of Cuba to produce three of their own antigens.
Plasencia also proposed creating the General Secretariat of CELAC to streamline the mechanism and urged to strengthen ties with nations such as India and China and organizations such as the African Union for interregional cooperation and integration.
Nicaragua's Foreign Minister Denis Moncada condemned the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba. He also recognized the need for political dialogue based on mutual respect for every country's differences, historical and cultural relationships, and geographic proximity. “Nicaragua by reason of principles, at all times and under all circumstances, accompanies the fight for human rights in any part of the world. We do not stop complaining about the murders, torture, rapes and sabotages committed daily in various nations of the world, ”he added.
Moncada also addressed the negative consequences of crimes such as drug and human trafficking, in addition to natural disasters stemming from climate change.
Cuba's top diplomat Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla ratified his country's commitment to strengthening CELAC as a mechanism for political agreement, as he welcomed Argentina's appointment to the pro tempore president of the bloc. He too supported President Fernández's plight in dealing with the IMF as well as Argentina's claim over the Falklands and other South Atlantic islands.
The Caribbean countries praised the work of the regional mechanism and the commitment of the nations despite political and ideological differences and expressed their confidence in advancing together towards greater health coverage.