Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas
In this interview, Raúl Zibechi discusses the challenges of the Evo Morales administration in Bolivia, the power and role of Bolivian social movements, projects for regional integration such as People’s Trade Agreement and the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the region’s new situation after the electoral victories of various "progressive" governments.
Much has been written and theorized about the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) since President Chavez first proposed the idea at Isla Margarita at the III Summit of the Heads of State and the Government of the Association of Caribbean States in December, 2001.
Is South American integration doomed, as much of the press reports? Or is there steady progress towards wider and deeper union, as the agenda of the Mercosur summit in Cordoba, Argentina, on 20-21 July, suggests?
A cornerstone of Bolivia’s new economy is the People’s Trade Agreement (PTA, or TCP in Spanish), a progressive international trade and integration strategy. Based upon traditional indigenous principles of cooperation, complementarity and solidarity, the PTA is a form of collaboration between nations or communities that reasserts public control over the economy and attempts to recast the role of the corporation from that of "master" to "partner" in a process of sustainable development.
Latin America is living in times of hope and changes where the longings of Simon Bolivar’s plans for integration have a new validity; but there are also dangers posed by those who are committed to the traditional subordination and ties to Washington.
Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez, Brazil’s president Lula Inacio da Silva, and Nestor Kirchner, president of Argentina, met in Sao Paulo, Brazil on April 26 to discuss possibilities for integration and collaboration. On April 29, Cuba’s president Fidel Castro met with Chávez and newly elected Bolivian president Evo Morales to sign a People Trade Agreement (TPC), which is seen as a step towards the alternative trade agreement being proposed by Chávez, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA).
President Chavez has proposed a new project for Latin America integration, ALBA, which challenges the imperial project ALCA, designed to consolidate neocolonial empire.
Pablo Solón, an expert on trade and integration, identifies at least four differences between the FTA and the TCP.
Before an audience of more than 25,000 gathered at Havana’s Revolution Square, which coincided with the signing of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) agreement one year ago between Cuba and Venezuela, Bolivia officially joined the regional integration agreement through its Peoples Trade Agreement (TCP).
The Trade Treaty for the People " (TCP) that the presidents Fidel Castro (Cuba), Hugo Chavez (Venezuela) and Evo Morales (Bolivia) signed at Havana is more about politics than trade.
Bolivia’s new left-leaning president signed a pact with Cuba and Venezuela on Saturday rejecting US-backed free trade and promising a socialist version of regional commerce and cooperation.
El gobierno boliviano manifestó hoy gran expectativa por la incorporación de su propuesta de Tratado de Comercio de los Pueblos (TCP) dentro del proyecto Alternativa Bolivariana para las Américas (ALBA).
Light Industry and Trade Minister María Cristina Iglesias reiterated the government’s position that Colombia and Peru would have to abandon the bilateral trade deals they recently signed with the United States if Venezuela were to stay in the Andean Community of Nations.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is widely seen to be at the center of Latin America’s transformation by building a regional trade bloc through the creation of ALBA and Venezuela’s membership in Mercosur to oppose US dominance and its constant push for free trade agreements with Latin American governments. However, the true democratic debate has been silenced in this simplified two-sided fight between the projects of macho men.
The new political climate is favourable to projects for regional integration other than the US-led free trade area of the Americas, the most radical being the mutually helpful Bolivarian Alternative.
The decisive numbers of Evo Morales’ election victory in South America’s poorest country give him the legitimacy he needs to redistribute Bolivia’s wealth in favor of the impoverished and excluded majority. But he faces enormous pressure from foreign corporations and international financial institutions to continue promoting superficial economic growth for the benefit of a small elite.
Anti-American demonstrators torched storefronts and battled police Friday in this Atlantic resort following a large, peaceful protest, spearheaded by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, over President Bush’s plans to revive a free trade accord at a regional summit.
The talks on a future Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) have divided Latin American states into different interest groups prior to the 4th Summit of the Americas to be held in Argentina on Nov. 4-5.
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has accused his US counterpart George W Bush of trying to restore the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which is a dead project, he asserted.
An apparently chance remark by a junior trade minister appears to have put Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Alí Rodríguez Araque on something of a spot.