ALBA Summit Emphasizes Sovereignty and SelfDetermination

ALBA Summit Has new members: Suriname, Saint Lucia and Haiti

Caracas, 06 Feb. 2012- AVN.- The 11 Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), held this weekend in Caracas, closed stressing the defense of sovereignty and people's self-determination, besides the adhesion of Suriname and Saint Lucia as special members of the bloc and Haiti as full member.

"We have changed from three to six Caricom members in the ALBA and, though we did not realize it, they represent more than half the population (of that Caribbean organization)," said Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, over the adhesion of the three Caribbean nations.

During the Summit, the Heads of State and Government of the ALBA passed a special statement over the inalienable right of Puerto Rico to its self-determination and full independence.

The statement, read by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, recalls that Puerto Rico is a Latin American and Caribbean nation, with its own and unmistakable history, whose rights to sovereignty are violated by the colonial guidance imposed by the United States for over a century.

Similarly, the members of the regional bloc signed an accord to condemn the attacks and meddling actions against the Syrian people, as well as they reiterated their political condemnation to the policy of interference and destabilization in the Syrian Arab Republic.

The bloc also proposed to discuss over their attendance or not to the Summit of the Americas, expected for next April in Colombia, since Cuba has apparently not been invited to that encounter.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez proposed to ask Colombia, which is the host, whether it expects to invite Cuba or not and then take a decision. "If Cuba is not invited to the Summit of the Americas, we should think about attending that summit," Chavez said to his counterparts of the ALBA.

It was as well passed a special declaration in honor of the Five Cuban Heroes imprisoned 13 years ago in the United States for fighting terrorism.

Foreign Ministers of the bloc are expected to meet soon in Havana, Cuba, to discuss the North American blockade to the Caribbean country, the colonialist provocation of the United Kingdom in Argentina's Malvinas Islands, among other issues.

Council of Defense
In the Summit, Bolivian President Evo Morales proposed the creation of the Council of Defense of the ALBA, agency which will be discussed by the political council, which is made by the foreign ministers of the bloc, informed President Chavez.

President Morales explained that the Council of Defense is based on the necessity of "building a new military doctrine," in which "the armed forces are at the service of people, not of the empire."

The 11th Summit of the ALBA also resulted in a work plan to cooperate with the development of Haiti, which is still suffering the consequences of an earthquake on January 2010. "ALBA will not make miracles, but it has to try hard for Haiti," added President Chavez.

At the end of the encounter, the political parties of the ALBA took the floor to propose the creation of a coordinator, which would meet twice a year to monitor and fulfill the proposed issues.

Meanwhile, social movements of the bloc proposed to create a network of schools fro movements, which contribute with the development of a grand national conscience, as well as strengthen people's power and exchange knowledge and experience.

The 12th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America will take place in the Caribbean island of Dominica, on August this year.

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