Cuba will once again become the site of Latin American integration, when the 16th Political Council of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP) meets this December 14.
According to a statement by the Cuban Foreign Ministry, “The event will contribute toward coordinating actions, exploring new opportunities for integration, and reaffirming the commitment of nations which make up the alliance to unity, cooperation, and solidarity in the current regional situation.”
The organization’s last Council was also held in Havana in April 2017, and in its Final Declaration condemned acts of aggression and manipulation against Venezuela - which continue to date – as well as interference in the nation’s internal affairs by Secretary General of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro.
The document also reaffirmed member-states’ commitment to the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed in the Cuban capital during the Second CELAC Summit in 2014.
ALBA-TCP is a regional integration mechanism which works to combat poverty and social exclusion through the implementation of socially just policies.
An initiative of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro and former President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez, the bloc was founded on December 14, 2004, as an alternative to the United States' Free Trade Area of the Americas agreement.
ALBA-TCP members currently include Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada.