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Montevideo, May 24th 2024 - 17:18 UTC

 

 

ALBA summit in Venezuela draws regional leaders amid calls for unity

Wednesday, April 24th 2024 - 10:00 UTC
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Ortega's arrival was greeted by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yván Gil, who emphasized the importance of the summit in strengthening the alliance and fostering regional integration Ortega's arrival was greeted by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yván Gil, who emphasized the importance of the summit in strengthening the alliance and fostering regional integration

The President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, joined other regional leaders in Caracas on Wednesday for the summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), underscoring a renewed focus on cooperation and solidarity among member nations.

Ortega's arrival was greeted by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yván Gil, who emphasized the importance of the summit in strengthening the alliance and fostering regional integration. “The commander will be participating in the ALBA-TCP Summit along with other regional leaders, with the objective of increasing cooperation and solidarity, and strengthening this bloc,” Gil wrote on social media platform X.

Accompanying Ortega are Miguel Díaz-Canel of Cuba and Bolivian President Luis Arce, with other leaders expected to arrive shortly. Among the early arrivals were the prime ministers of Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Gaston Browne and Ralph Gonsalves, respectively.

The agenda for the summit has yet to be disclosed, but statements from ALBA officials underscored the importance of unity and integration in the face of external pressures. Former vice-president Jorge Arreaza, now secretary general of the bloc, emphasized the necessity of solidarity in confronting imperialism, stating, “Today more than ever the union of our peoples is indispensable. Imperialism declines and becomes even more dangerous.”

Host Nicolás Maduro echoed these sentiments, stressing the need to advance towards the integration of the Americas and the development of its peoples. “In the face of diversity, we must continue advancing towards the integration of our America and the development of the peoples,” Maduro remarked.

The ALBA bloc, established in 2004 by the late Presidents Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Fidel Castro of Cuba, was conceived as a response to Washington's failed project to create the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Comprised of ten member countries including Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, and others, ALBA promotes social, economic, and political cooperation among its members.

The last ALBA summit took place in December 2022 in Havana, where Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro condemned criticisms directed towards Ortega and other leaders. The summit saw solidarity among member nations in the face of external scrutiny and challenges.

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