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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

Guyana mulls over membership in ALBA
Guyana Monday announced it would delay its entry into the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) — a regional economic integration project boosted by Venezuela to counter the Free Trade Area of the Americas proposed by the United States. "We will see what happens now, as we initialed the Economic Cooperation Agreement with Europe," Guyana’s Foreign Minister said.
Cuba, Venezuela strengthen economic ties
Cuba and Venezuela signed a raft of economic accords on Monday aimed at furthering cooperation under the Bolivian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), including plans for nickel and oil development and a billion-dollar petrochemical complex in Cuba.
Nicaragua’s Sandinista government allies with anti-imperialist forces
A review of the first six months of the new Sandinista government and the support from allies through ALBA.
A new dawn in Latin America
The Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America (ALBA) has deepened its roots. While others were talking about the “end of history,” new protagonists emerged all over Latin America.
ALBA: From dream to reality
ALBA has become the new historical focus of Latin America and the Caribbean, placing people’s needs above market mechanisms and the accumulation of capital.
Toni Solo: Americanism v. ALBA
It has taken a while for the US to work out an effective strategy to counteract ALBA.
Benefits of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA)
International Relations Commission members of the Cuban parliament received an update Monday on the progress of the agreements being implemented under the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), which promotes social development, solidarity and mutually beneficial trade.
The TCP and small soy producers of Santa Cruz
After one year of the TCP, a preliminary study done by CIPCA Santa Cruz shows that 108 million tonnes of Bolivian soybean have been sold at the preferential price of US$217 per tonne. The going market price is US$160 per tonne. This means that a net benefit of US$57 million has been generated through the programme as an alternative to the conventional market.
Chávez attempts new current of economic integration
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’ call upon the members of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) to organize a "federation of republics" rings a bell in socialist processes, as this is one of the tools socialist leaders in the world contemporary history have used.
First meeting of ALBA ministers concludes in Venezuela
The countries that make up the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) trade block met in Venezuela this Wednesday for a meeting of the ALBA Ministers. The meeting set forth some of the future integration projects, the organizational structure, and the countries agreed on the formation of an ALBA development bank.