FIDEL, as a disciple of José Martí, 22 days after the revolutionary triumph of 1959, and on his first visit to Caracas, presented his integrationist thought, valid today and for all time:
“I want the concept of homeland to have a greater scope, that on referring to our country we are referring to the great America that our small homelands make up.”
It was very clear that the visionary Fidel was thinking and planning to build that great homeland, a dream frustrated over a hundred years of colonialism and an annexed Republic.
The founding of ALBA, in December 2004, was undoubtedly one of the greatest expressions of unity and solidarity in Latin American and Caribbean history.
ALBA is an institution as inspiring as it is necessary, and represents a unique legacy, which must be taken care of, strengthened and defended. To renounce unity in these times is the worst act that individuals and governments can commit, as it would be to play into the hands of the imperialist forces that threaten, attack, and want to reconquer us by applying colonialist recipes like the Monroe Doctrine.
That moment when two of the most outstanding men of the 20th and 21st centuries, Fidel and Chávez, signed in Cuba the declaration that founded ALBA, on December 14, 2004, soon began to bear fruit.
Five years later, on October 19, 2009, Fidel wrote in one of his reflections: “ALBA, created by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Cuba, inspired by the ideas of Bolívar and Martí, as an unprecedented example of revolutionary solidarity, has shown how much can be achieved in just five years of peaceful cooperation.”
Thus emerged the medical missions of hundreds of thousands of Cuban doctors who have offered their valuable services in the most remote geographical spaces of Latin America, the Caribbean, and also Africa and Asia.
The Ecuadorian, Nicaraguan and other peoples will forever remember those Cuban specialists who undertook genetic studies to then embark on the major battle to rehabilitate disabled persons, or improve the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of children of the world’s most deprived
Before the impressive progress of plans and programs in health, education, culture, sport and others, Fidel, during the Latin American School of Medicine’s first graduation ceremony, on August 20, 2005, expressed: “However, everything that I have said so far pales in comparison with the colossal movement that is being promoted by Venezuela and Cuba to train doctors ready to march in the front line of the Bolivarian dawn. Thanks to this, and as part of the Barrio Adentro Mission devised by President Hugo Chávez, 22,043 Venezuelan undergraduates have now embarked on their pre-med studies in the 7,898 Barrio Adentro surgeries, in close cooperation with the Venezuelan Ministries of Higher Education and Public Health. On October 3, they will begin their first year studies in Medicine. In only ten years time, 40,000 will be graduating.”
As of September 2018, the Miracle Mission had carried out 5,600,000 eye operations in 37 countries.
Through the Cuban Yo sí puedo (Yes, I Can) literacy program, up until February 2019, more than 10 million people in 32 countries had been taught to read and write, and three nations have already been declared free of illiteracy.
ALBA, despite ups and downs, is the heart of unity and solidarity among our peoples, and as such we must defend and consolidate it.
- High level of political coordination in regional and multilateral organizations, in defense of the principles of international law, the postulates of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, and mutual solidarity.
- Three countries of Our America were declared “Territories Free of Illiteracy”: Venezuela (2005), Bolivia (2008) and Nicaragua (2009).
- The Miracle Mission has returned eyesight, free of charge, to more than five million people. Additionally, it has offered more than 27 million ophthalmological consultations, and provided more than 41 million pairs of glasses.
- The Miracle Mission has privileged mainly low-income people who never received medical attention for their ophthalmological conditions.
- As part of the Genetic and Psychosocial Clinical Study of People with Disabilities, more than one million people in six countries have been identified as in need of support. More than two million consultations have been carried out, and more than 1 million technical aids such as prosthetics provided.
- The Genetic and Psychosocial Clinical Study of People with Disabilities, as a program, has also helped integrate patients into society, without discrimination, while promoting their individual potential.
- More than 2,000 young people from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa are being trained as community doctors, with a profound social vocation and high level of scientific, technical, ethical and humanistic education, at the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), with campuses in Cuba and Venezuela.
- Four editions of the ALBA Games were held, with the participation of more than 10,000 athletes from 31 nations.
- As a consequence of the earthquake of January 12, 2010, in Haiti, ALBA-TCP member countries approved an action plan and contributed to the reconstruction and promotion of the development of this sister Caribbean nation, in the fields of health, finance, energy, agriculture and food sovereignty, education, construction, security, transport and logistics.
- The organization has proposed the construction and consolidation of a Space for Interdependence, Sovereignty and Economic Solidarity through the People’s Trade Agreement, the SUCRE currency, and the Bank of ALBA.
ALBA staunchly condemns the United States’ genocidal economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba.