Political Prisoners of the Empire  MIAMI 5     

     

C U B A

Havana. December 14, 2014

May nothing, no one, derail our progress toward integration

Cuban President Army General Raúl Castro Ruz opened the XIII Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People's Trade Agreement (Alba-TCP), this morning December 14, and called for strengthening regional unity.

Cuban President Army General Raúl Castro Ruz formally inaugurated the XII Alba-TCP Summit on the tenth anniversary of the foundation of this mechanism of regional integration.

The Cuban leader recalled in his remarks that, exactly 10 years ago, the alternative alliance was founded, as a result of the political work and commitment to integration of Comandantes Hugo Chávez Frías and Fidel Castro Ruz, who led the way to the era of change today being constructed by our peoples and their vanguard leadership.

Raúl recalled that, at that time, the U.S. invented Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) had not yet been buried, but had generated resistance, while revolutionary and progressive governments were emerging, intent upon fulfilling the dream of Latin American independence forbearers.

The Cuban President referred to the first historic meeting, 20 years ago,  between Fidel and Chávez, which was also the beginning of a great friendship based on shared ideas and goals, which has had a strong impact in the region, and on liberation efforts.

The foundation of Alba, which would later include a trade agreement, also emerged, Raúl said, as a result of the friendship between Venezuela and Cuba, and the solidarity between the two peoples, based on principles of complementarity, as reflected in the joint declaration made in December of 2004.

The subsequent adhesion of Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador, and the incorporation of Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Lucia, which enriched the alliance with a unique Caribbean perspective, led to the consolidation of Alba's integrationist framework, and broadened its projections, he said, while additionally highlighting the incorporation of Grenada and St, Kitts and Nevis, to take place during the Summit.

Addressing Alba's accomplishments, which he described as undeniable, Raúl affirmed that the alliance has been a pillar of independence and sovereignty of the peoples who are coming together, and has become a platform from which audacious common positions are being established, emphasizing, "Our voice is heard and recognized throughout the world, always in defense of the most just causes."

Among the bloc's achievements over these past 10 years, the Cuban President cited the three million persons who have regained their sight thanks to Operation Miracle; the million disabled who have been diagnosed and treated during nationwide genetic and psycho-social studies; and five million who have learned to read and write via the "Yes, I Can" literacy program.

Likewise, he recalled that more than 23,000 doctors have been trained as result of this collaboration, and notable accomplishments have been registered in the fields of sports and culture.

Raúl described the Unified System of Regional Compensation, SUCRE, and the Alba Bank, as the alliance's principal contribution to the creation of a new financial structure in the region, and noted that work is underway on a complementary zone of Alba-Petrocaribe-Mercosur.

In his remarks, Raúl also emphasized Venezuela's solidarity and support, and condemned U.S. attempts to impose sanctions on this sister country, which will have no effect on the Bolivarian Republic's commitment to continue moving forward, despite the efforts of powerful internal and external forces conspiring to destabilize the country, to derail the process of change, and defeat the peoples.

 

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