The twentieth summit of the ALBA-TCP concluded with a post-pandemic plan that seeks food and medicinal self-sufficiency for the left-wing member countries, which strongly criticized the United States for its “political selfishness” in times of Covid-19.
The great challenge is to promote “powerful trade (between the countries) alongside common economic development projects,” said Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
“Our peoples already have advanced elements of a welfare state, but to sustain it we need to produce wealth, to distribute wealth we must produce it,” added Maduro.
The summit approved a 2022 post-pandemic work plan “to relaunch the economic, commercial and financial agenda of ALBA-TCP” and build a “comprehensive development” strategy, informed, on his side, the forum’s executive secretary, the Bolivian Sacha Llorenti.
At the inauguration of the summit of the Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA-TCP)In the Palace of the Revolution, the president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, denounced that in the face of the “dramatic situation” generated by the pandemic, “US imperialism not only did not stop but also reinforced its plans for hegemonic domination over our region “.
He said that “out of sheer political selfishness and cold economic calculation, the speed with which scientists found vaccines was wasted” against Covid-19.
Cuba, the only Latin American country that has created its own vaccines against Covid-19, has shared immunizers with several of these allied nations.
ALBA’s first face-to-face summit since 2019 was held with the participation of six heads of state from the alliance, founded 17 years ago by the late commanders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez to counter the United States’ attempt to create a regional trade agreement that never crystallized.
In his speech, Maduro questioned that the capitalist powers use the new variants of Covid-19 to manipulate and speculate.
“It will be that the powers of world capitalism and the media and the powerful laboratories of the world sometimes use some variants (…) to increase their profits, to manipulate public opinion, to manipulate the prices of commodities,” said Maduro .
“The bags fall, when Ómicron appears they cry out to the sky, the oil one day went from 82 to 56 dollars,” he gave as an example.
In his first participation in an ALBA summit, the president of Bolivia, Luis Arce, asked to take advantage of the resistance of the alliance, unlike other “neoliberal” forums that did not survive, to advance towards food and medical autonomy.
Especially in a context of “an absolutely selective neo-protectionism,” he said.
The Bolivian president spoke of the risk that the pandemic has represented, not only for life and the world economy but also for food and medical security.
“That is why we are encouraged to propose (…) to be self-sufficient in the generation and production of medicine for our peoples and we aim to guarantee food security” in the ALBA-TPC, said Arce.
Upon arriving in Cuba at dawn, the Bolivian brought with him 15 tons of food and five tons of aid medicines for Cuba, which suffers from a severe shortage.
“In the face of the intensification of the criminal blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, Bolivia’s response will always be more solidarity,” Arce wrote on Twitter upon his arrival.
We are all the same
Meanwhile, the president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, who at the last minute decided to attend the meeting, assured that ALBA has known how to contribute, despite the attacks received.
“If imperialism is characterized in something, it is in being more of a liar because they preach peace and practice war, terrorism,” he said, making a long recount of what, he said, has been an unprecedented hostility against his country, as well as against Bolivia and Venezuela.
“They are the greatest terrorists on the planet,” said Ortega, who considered that “they attack, attack, slander, defame and commit terrorism” against the nations of the alliance to build “a new path.”
The ALBA meeting was held four days after the end of the Summit for Democracy organized by the president of the United States, Joe Biden, which received strong criticism from the members of the alliance and to which eight Latin American nations were not invited. among them Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Venezuela.
Among the agreements is the creation of an Observatory against Interference, to monitor the destination of 424 million dollars, which Biden will grant to support democracy in those countries.
The leftist bloc is made up of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Grenada.