After the conclusion of the 14th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas-Peoples’ Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP) on Sunday night, with a strong call to strengthen unity and integration, the two leaders shone like ‘the two Quixotes’ who put Man in the center as a recipient of the results of a struggle that unites peoples.
In that historic birth that gave life to the ALBA, as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said at the opening of the meeting here in Caracas, Chavez and Fidel were constant references, while their examples and ideas were a required mention when highlighting Cuba’s and Venezuela’s commitment to making the ALBA-TCP more dynamic, thus contributing to guaranteeing the economic, political and cultural independence of the peoples of the region, as noted by the head of Dominica’s delegation, Reynal Osgrid. The need to consolidate unity among the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean to counter the attacks by international rightwing sectors on the region’s economic stability was a recurrent issue in the speeches by the heads of delegations attending the summit.
The Caracas Declaration, issued at Miraflores Palace, noted the importance of strongly fighting the imperial attacks to protect every the peoples’ right to social and economic growth. It recalled the thought of the founding fathers when 13 years ago they proclaimed the need for the peoples of ‘our Americas’ to unite to meet today’s challenges and those to come.
Four years after the sowing of Commander Hugo Chavez and four months after the departure of Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, our founders, whose examples and ideas interpret and summarize the legacy of the liberators, the ALBA is alive, as noted Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and stated in the final declaration.
The document says, ‘They educated us to understand our national struggles and wishes as independent processes and as solidarity contributions to the common dreams of freedom, dignity, justice and peace for the Great Homeland, to prioritize collective interests before national interests.’
“The ALBA-TCP, a political, economic and social alliance defends our peoples” independence, self-determination and identity. We are united by solidarity, complementariness, justice and cooperation, with the historic objective of uniting our countries’ capacities and strengths to achieve integral development and existing as sovereign nations,’ adds the document in reference to the two leaders’ aspirations.
For the member countries, there are new challenges that are generated by the same forces that created our nations’ poverty, exclusion and dependence and that imposed invasions and dictatorships to consolidate their power, the delegations pointed out.
Fidel’s vision and Chavez’s overpowering vigor were in every corner in Miraflores when participants in the summit spoke about the return of the worst conservatism in the imperial policies that reactivated fundamentalism, xenophobia, racism and militarism.
Chavez’s and Fidel’s imprints were also present when they warned that “the rightwing parties use the legislative, judicial and media powers as platforms of conspiracy, and ruthlessly break the democratic order that they used to defend, impose adjustment packages with privatizations and mass layoffs, and promote the articulation of political subversion and the struggle of ideas”.
The calls to regional unity and integration of Latin America and the Caribbean were and will be reminders forever of Fidel and Chavez in that fighting scenario.
Meanwhile, as an undeniable tribute, the delegations noted, “The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States is our most precious work. It is the mechanism to forge unity in diversity through political consensus”.
Let us integrate and let us unite all of us. Victory lies there, Chavez and Fidel proclaimed with their omnipresence in Miraflores as a beacon that guides the peoples of the region.