Community of Latin American and Caribbean States


Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
Total population: 591.662 million (2011)
Total area: 20.438 million sq km
Density: 28.95/sq km

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Spanish: Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, CELAC, Portuguese: Comunidade de Estados Latino-Americanos e Caribenhos, French: Communauté des États Latino-Américains et Caribéens, Dutch: Gemeenschap van de Latijns-Amerikaanse en Caribische landen) is the tentative name[1] of a regional bloc of Latin American and Caribbean nations created on February 23, 2010, at the Rio Group-Caribbean Community Unity Summit held in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico.[2][3] It consists of all sovereign countries in the Americas, except for Canada and the United States.

CELAC is an example of a decade-long push for deeper integration within the Americas.[4] CELAC is being created to deepen Latin American Integration and to reduce the once overwhelming influence of the United States on the politics and economics of Latin America, and is seen as an alternative to the Organization of American States (OAS), the regional body organized largely by Washington in 1948 as a countermeasure to potential Soviet influence in the region.[4][5] [6]

CELAC will be the successor of the Rio Group and the Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development (CALC).[7] In July 2010 CELAC selected Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and the newly elected conservative president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, as co-chairs of the forum that will draft statutes for the organization.[8]

Contents

Countries

CELAC comprises 33 countries that speak 5 different languages:

Spanish-speaking countries (56% of area, 63% of population)

English-speaking countries (1.3% of area, 1.1% of population)

Portuguese-speaking countries (42% of area, 34% of population)

French-speaking countries (0.1% of area, 1.6% of population)

Dutch-speaking countries (0.8% of area, 0.1% of population)

12 countries are in South America which holds 87% of the area and 68% of the population.

Rationale

On February 23, 2010, Latin American leaders at the 23rd Rio Group summit in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, said they are forming an organization of the Latin American and Caribbean nations. Once its charter is developed, the group will be formally established in July 2011, at a summit in Caracas. The bloc will be the main forum for political dialogue for the area, without the United States or Canada.[9][10]

In an interview in February 2010, President Evo Morales of Bolivia said, "A union of Latin American countries is the weapon against imperialism. It is necessary to create a regional body that excludes the United States and Canada. ...Where there are U.S. military bases that do not respect democracy, where there is a political empire with his blackmailers, with its constraints, there is no development for that country, and especially there is no social peace and, therefore, it is the best time for prime ministers of Latin America and the Caribbean to gestate this great new organization without the United States to free our peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean."[6]

At the 23rd Rio Group summit, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela said, "Now here, in Mexico, a document, a commitment, the creation of a body of Latin America and the Caribbean, without the USA, without Canada (...) Now we can say from Latin America, from Mexico (...) we have revived the dream and project of Bolívar."[11] Mexican President Felipe Calderón added, "We decided, for the first time, to form the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States as a regional space consisting of all states."[12] Calderon said, "We cannot remain disunited; we cannot successfully take on the future based on our differences; now it's up to us to unite without discounting the things that make us different … to unite based on our similarities, which far outweigh our differences." [13] Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said it is "A historic fact of great significance." [14]

President Rafael Correa of Ecuador said that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States "can be much more effective than other instances to solve ourselves, with our own strengths, our own visions, our conflicts."[15]

Reaction

The announcement prompted debate and discussion across Latin America and the Caribbean about whether it's more beneficial to have close ties with U.S. and Canada or to work independently.[citation needed] The formation of CELAC was largely ignored by press in the US and Canada.

Raúl Zibechi, writing for Mexico's La Jornada newspaper said, "The creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States is part of a global and continental shift, characterized by the decline of U.S. hegemony and the rise of a group of regional blocs that form part of the new global balance." [16]

An editorial in Brazil's conservative Estadao newspaper said, "CELAC reflects the disorientation of the region's governments in relation to its problematic environment and its lack of foreign policy direction, locked as it is into the illusion that snubbing the United States will do for Latin American integration what 200 years of history failed to do."[14]

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ América Latina crea una OEA sin Estados Unidos, El País, February 23, 2010.
  2. ^ http://www.mexidata.info/id2573.html Mexidata (English) March 1, 2010
  3. ^ Acuerdan crear Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, Associated Press, February 23, 2010.
  4. ^ a b MercoPress, 2010 Feb. 24, "Mexico Gives Birth to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States," http://en.mercopress.com/2010/02/24/mexico-gives-birth-to-the-community-of-latinamerican-and-caribbean-states
  5. ^ New York Times, 2010 Feb. 28, "Quake Overshadows Clinton Tour of Region," http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/01/world/americas/01clinton.html?ref=americas
  6. ^ a b http://www.telesurtv.net/noticias/entrev-reportajes/index.php?ckl=471
  7. ^ Presidentes constituyen la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, EFE, February 23, 2010.
  8. ^ CounterPunch, 3 August 2010, Behind the Colombia / Venezuela Tensions
  9. ^ http://www.indymedia-letzebuerg.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=44165&Itemid=28 Indymedia (English) February 24, 2010
  10. ^ http://www.granma.cu/espanol/2010/febrero/lun22/cancilleres.html
  11. ^ http://www.telesurtv.net/noticias/secciones/nota/67327-NN/chavez-afirma-que-con--nuevo-organismo-latinoamericano-renace-el-proyecto-de-bolivar/
  12. ^ http://www.telesurtv.net/noticias/secciones/nota/67312-NN/crean-nuevo-organismo-regional-en-cumbre-de-rio/
  13. ^ Clovis Rossi Latin American Unity Cannot Be Dependent on Excluding the U.S. Folha, Brazil, via translation from WorldMeets.US (English) February 22, 2010
  14. ^ a b EDITORIAL In Latin America, Rhetoric Triumphs Over Reality Estadao, Brazil, via translation by WorldMeets.US (English) February 25, 2010
  15. ^ http://www.telesurtv.net/noticias/secciones/nota/67340-NN/correa-confia-en-la-recien-creada-comunidad-de-estados-latinoamericanos-y-caribenos/
  16. ^ Raúl Zibechi Latin America's Inexorable March Toward 'Autonomy from the Imperial Center' La Jornada, Mexico, via translation by WorldMeets.US (English) February 26, 2010

External links

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