Cuba: Havana organizes a Bolivarian summit against the democracy summit called by Biden | International

The president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, and that of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, during the Bolivarian summit that took place this Tuesday in Havana.
The president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, and that of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, during the Bolivarian summit that took place this Tuesday in Havana.POOL (Reuters)

Just four days after the Summit for Democracy, convened virtually by US President Joe Biden, this Tuesday Havana was the venue for the XX Summit of ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America), defined as an “anti-imperialist” forum and barricade in which the presidents of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, participated in person; Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega; Bolivia, Luis Arce, and Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, in addition to the prime ministers of other Caribbean islands who are part of the organization created 17 years ago by the disappeared Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez. The objective of the summit was to adapt the bloc’s strategies and strengthen its economic integration in the midst of the circumstances created by the coronavirus crisis and in the face of the new post-pandemic scenario, but, of course, another of its main purposes was to criticize the “interference character” of US policy in the region and incidentally send the message to Washington of “here we are.”

Neither Maduro, nor Ortega, nor Arce, nor Díaz-Canel were invited to the Summit for Democracy, which Havana criticized as “a demagogic exercise with zero benefit for the international community and without any proposal to solve the world’s most pressing problems. ”. In a statement prior to the summit, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Relations accused the United States of not inviting more than 80 countries to this meeting, noting that “the United States government is leading a dangerous campaign aimed at creating an international schism, dividing the planet and to punish the countries that defend progressive projects or do not accept the models imposed by the United States ”.

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As soon as the meeting was inaugurated, the Cuban president highlighted that several members of ALBA have been “victims of the application of unilateral coercive measures, which escalated at the worst moments of the pandemic, appealing to political maneuvers and media manipulations.” According to Díaz-Canel, in these years Washington has “reinforced its hegemony in the region” and Cuba has become the main target of its “obsessive policy of persecution” using “the pandemic as an ally”.

Regarding the US decision to dedicate 400 million dollars for the promotion of democracy in the world – one of the results of the Summit for Democracy -, Cuba and the ALBA countries considered it part of an attempt at “political subversion sovereign States, in frank violation of international law ”. The executive secretary of ALBA, Sacha Llorenti, announced the creation of an “observatory against interference”, in response to the Summit for Democracy and the announced “million-dollar budget to destabilize sovereign governments.” The objective of the observatory would be “to periodically analyze where this money is going and the role of some NGOs in destabilizing processes and, furthermore, to study how neoliberal coercive measures are applied in member countries.”

Bolivian President Luis Arce arrived in Cuba with a donation of 20 tons of humanitarian aid for Havana, and during the meeting he advocated creating two regional companies within ALBA that produce medicine and food for the benefit of the member states. The objective, he indicated, is “to achieve food and biotechnological self-sufficiency” through a “necessary” economic and productive reactivation that has the Banco del Alba as its axis. These purposes collide with the harsh reality experienced by the economies of the member countries, especially Venezuela, which 17 years ago was the main supporter of ALBA thanks to the low-priced oil that Hugo Chávez supplied, but which now cannot offer.

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The final declaration of the ALBA summit rejected what it described as “attempts by imperialism to confuse our peoples”, condemned the US embargo policy against Havana and the inclusion of the island in Washington’s list of countries that do not cooperate in the fight against terrorism and also expressed solidarity with Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia. ALBA is made up of 10 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean: Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Grenada.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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