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The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA in Spanish) is a project to counteract the US-backed Free Trade Area of the Americas. Born out of initial agreements forged between the governments of Venezuela and Cuba in December 2004, ALBA aims to promote regional integration of Latin America based on values and objectives opposed to imperialism. However, it continues to rely on some basic neoliberal tenets, such as a strong emphasis on exports. Concretely, it involves Cuba, Bolivia and Venezuela through cooperation pacts covering a wide range of areas such as energy, health and culture. Nicaragua officially joined in January 2007, followed by Dominica, Saint Vincent and Antigua in February 2007. In June 2009, Ecuador became a full member.

The People’s Trade Agreement (TCP in Spanish) is considered the trade arm of ALBA. It is a direct effort to defeat the bilateral free trade agreements that the US government has been pushing in Latin America. The TCP aims to promote trade in the region along principles of solidarity, cooperation and complementarity. It was launched in May 2006.

Together, ALBA and TCP form a popular axis of today’s push for "alternative" regional integration in Latin America with the direct backing of Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Evo Morales.

On 4-5 February 2012, the 11th ALBA-TCP summit was held in Caracas, Venezuela. It was decided at this meeting to create an ALBA-TCP Economic Space (ECOALBA) "as a shared-development, inter-dependent, sovereign and supportive economic zone aimed at consolidating and enlarging a new alternative model of economic relations that will strengthen and diversify the production apparatus and trade exchanges, as well as establishing the bases for the bilateral and multilateral instruments that the Parties may enter into on this matter, with a view to satisfying the physical and spiritual needs of our peoples."

last update: May 2012

Photo: Xavier Granja Cedeño - Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana. CC-BY-SA-2.0

Fóto: Xavier Granja Cedeño - Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana. CC-BY-SA-2.0

ALBA-Petrocaribe Summit Postponed
The Summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) and Petrocaribe, originally scheduled for the coming weekend in Caracas, has been postponed, sources from the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry announced.
ALBA member nations to create common currency
Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, ALBA, announced on Wednesday it will create a common currency.
From protest to proposals for integration
The ALBA offers a broad space to recover the public sector and consolidate Latin American identity through dialogue.
Venezuela summit looks at ALBA
The Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) is centering the closing day of the Seventh Social Summit for the Latin American and Caribbean Union.
Honduras: Joining ALBA ‘a step towards the centre-left,’ says president
Honduras has joined the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), amid criticism from the business community and right-wing political sectors.
Nicaragua refines plan to organize food company under ALBA
The government of Nicaragua is working on a proposal on the role of the company "Gran Nacional ALBA Alimentos." Organization of the venture was agreed some days ago in Cuba by member countries of Petrocaribe, a Caribbean alliance with Venezuela to buy oil under special payment terms and conditions, DPA reported.
Petrocaribe: New regional food firm
The PetroCaribe meeting on agriculture held Tuesday adopted several accords to face the international food crisis, among them the creation of a regional foodstuff enterprise. The company named Alba Alimentos (Alba Foods, after Venezuela’s integration initiative Alternativa Bolivariana de las Americas (ALBA)) will operate in member countries.
ALBA, Petrocaribe and Caricom: Issues in a new dynamic
The growth of relations between several Caricom states and the Venezuelan-promoted ALBA and Petrocaribe initiatives is one of the most significant recent developments in regional affairs. An immediate issue that has arisen is whether membership of ALBA might conflict with the obligations of membership of Caricom itself. There are also larger issues of a strategic nature for Caricom.
Ecuador, ALBA and the FARC
Recent remarks by Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez on the civil war in Colombia and Ecuador’s decision not to join the Alternativa Bolivariana de las Americas (ALBA) solidarity based cooperation initiative shows progressive leaders are taking stock on Latin American integration.
ALBA, an economic alternative for Latin America
The sixth conference of the Latin American alternative trade alliance known as ALBA—which stands for the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas and means “Dawn” in Spanish—was held in Caracas on January 25-26. The brainchild of Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, ALBA was founded by Cuba and Venezuela in 2004 as a fair trade alternative to US-backed free trade policies and is made possible thanks to Venezuela’s oil money.