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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

Council of ALBA Ministers to Meet
The country members of the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA) prepare Monday the first meeting of the Council of Ministers, created during the 5th Summit of that integration mechanism.
Cuba and Venezuela review ALBA progress
Cuba and Venezuela praised the broadening of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) and the progress stemming from the recent fifth summit of its members (Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua) and guest nations.
ALBA: A viable key to African diaspora self-determination
Author and former Jamaican public servant, Lloyd D. McCarthy, makes the case that both Claude McKay and Michael Manley would have supported the political and economic initiative called the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA).
Activists back Venezuela-driven alternative integration
Progressive social and political movements joined the governments of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) at the fifth ALBA summit in Venezuela.
"Cuba is not with OAS and is not dead"
The 5th summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) ended with a flexible energy agreement and withdrawal from the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
ALBA extends integration to geology and mining
Representatives from four Latin American countries yesterday approved in Havana a declaration for incorporating geology and mining into the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), according to an AIN report.
Chavez urges Jamaica to join FTAA ’alternative’
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has urged Jamaica to join the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) - widely viewed as a counter to the US-sponsored Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
Latin America, backyard no longer
As US President George W Bush is about to start his Latin American tour, he will find a region very different to what it was when he took over the White House.
ALBA seen as a historical milestone in Caribbean-Latin America relations
Antiguan Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, along with the Prime Ministers of Dominica and St. Vincent, on the weekend signed onto the Alba, a new free trade agreement from Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
Congress okays Venezuelan-Nicaraguan cooperation agreement
Venezuela’s National Assembly approved Thursday a framework agreement on cooperation between Venezuela and Nicaragua with a view to the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (Alba).