Bolivia’s President Evo Morales on Thursday urged Colombia, Peru and Ecuador to kill their free trade agreements with the United States, so as to keep the Andean Community alive. Meanwhile, Peru’s President Alejandro Toledo said the Andean Community would now seek to launch trade talks with the EU, with or without Venezuela and Bolivia.
A deeply divided Latin America, in the midst of several growing conflicts, meets with the European Union 25 leaders in the framework of the two regions’ fourth summit.
Free trade agreements with the United States and Venezuela’s announced withdrawal from the Andean Community trade bloc will have an impact on workers, the ‘Cinderella’ of decades of integration, said trade unionists and experts in the region consulted by IPS.
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 European Community (EU) has announced that Venezuela’s withdrawal from the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) will have a negative effect on planned free trade agreements.
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.
The US free trade agreements "are destroying the CAN," Bolivian President Evo Morales said.
Venezuelan Minister for Integration and Foreign Trade Gustavo Márquez said on Monday that the countries which signed Free Trade Agreements with the US are responsible for the failure of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN).
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he would consider returning to the Andean Community of Nations trade bloc provided Colombia and Peru reconsider their trade agreements with the US.
Colombian authorities on the border with Venezuela have proposed Colombian President Álvaro Uribe and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chávez to negotiate a bilateral Free Trade Agreement in exchange for the Andean Community of Nations (CAN).
Text of the letter in which Venezuela renounces the Cartagena Accord and withdraws from the Andean Community of Nations, translated by toni solo.
Colombian authorities reject Chávez’ claims. "The Andean legal framework prevails over the FTA, as expressly provided for in the final text of the FTA," said Colombia Commerce minister Jorge Humberto Botero
Bolivia has ruled out Friday leaving the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) but agreed the bloc has been mortally wounded by the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) of two of its partners with the US.
The Andean Community "is dead" said Presidents Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Evo Morales of Bolivia Wednesday, referring to the trade bloc that their countries form part of along with Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Analysts within the Bolivian Movement for Sovereignty and Integration of the Peoples studied the recently published results of the Joint Assessment of the Association Agreement between the EU and the Andean Community.
Venezuela, which has criticized Andean nations as being overly aligned with the United States, plans to withdraw from the Andean Community of Nations, President Hugo Chavez said on Wednesday.
Venezuela has accused the United States of attempting to undermine the unity of the five-nation Andean Community in the way of free trade deals.
The European Commission’s objective is to ’’establish an enhanced partnership through a network of association agreements (including free trade agreements) involving all the countries of the [Latin America and Caribbean] region and liable to contribute to the integration of the region as a whole.’’
Rather than any remarks made by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, the problem of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) is the execution of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with the United States, Foreign Vice-Minister Pavel Rondón told state TV channel Venezolana de Televisión during an interview.