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Cuba and Venezuela review ALBA progress

Periodico26, Cuba

Cuba and Venezuela Review ALBA Progress

10 May 2007

CARACAS.- 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.

The ALBA, which stresses mutually beneficial trade, solidarity and social development, was one of the main topics of discussion in a meeting between Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro.

The two officials reviewed the political projection of ALBA, its operating mechanisms, and its ties to social movements.

Maduro told a Caracas press conference that the ALBA Summit at the end of April had a great impact “on the continent and beyond,” as a new model for dealing with the problems facing many nations.

Perez Roque maintained that “the ALBA is a true path towards Latin American integration and unity and seeks a place in the international arena.”

“It is not via neoliberalism or free trade treaties that such an objective can be reached. Instead it is by way of coordination, complementation and appropriate treatment for the most needy,” he added.

The Cuban foreign minister noted that no previous mechanism for integration has had the results so far obtained by the ALBA.

Perez Roque cited the more than two million people that have learned to read and write, the hundreds of thousands who have recovered their eyesight under the Operation Miracle eye surgery program, projects to supply energy, and the infrastructure built and projected for the future.