Saturday, December 3, 2011

Historic Birth of CELAC in Caracas

December 3, 2011

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will be officially created on Saturday during the final session of the Summit of heads of State and Government of the region, gathered since December 2 in this capital with that purpose.

Defined by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as the future great center for regional power of the 21st century, the high-level forum will approve today the Caracas Declaration, a document that will define the political budget of a bloc for integration, development and peace.

Today’s agenda also includes summit meetings of the Union of South American States (UNASUR) and Petrocaribe. The latter is an institution that on Friday held its 7th Ministerial Council, in which strength and advances were recognized.

The opening of CELAC foundational summit was held on Friday at the Teresa CarreƱo Theater in Caracas, after the arrival of presidents from 33 Latin American and Caribbean nations that will join the organization from now on.

Chavez stated that solidarity, cooperation, complementariety and political agreement will be CELAC’s mainstays. According to the Venezuelan president, it will be a geopolitical space that fulfills Bolivar’s dream and unitary project, in benefit of the member nations.

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States will build on the experiences of the 3rd Latin American and Caribbean Summit (CALC) and the Rio Group, which will join the new bloc.

After the opening ceremony, participants walked along Paseo de los Proceres avenue to Fuerte Tiuna, south of Caracas, to begin the first presidential plenary session, after the creation of the event.

Presidents Cristina Fernandez (Argentina), Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), Raul Castro (Cuba), Porfirio Lobo (Honduras), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Leonel Fernandez (Dominican Republic) and Felipe Calderon (Mexico) took the floor at the summit.

President Chavez read a message to greet participants in the Summit sent from Havana by the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

The delegates will also approve the CELAC’s action plan for 2012, prepared along with 18 communiques about the most diverse issues during the meeting of foreign ministers and the coordinating commission, presided over by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro.

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