ALBA

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For other uses, see Alba (disambiguation).
Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América  (Spanish)

Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America
Headquarters Caracas
Official languages
Member states
Establishment
 -  Cuba–Venezuela Agreement 14 December 2004 
 -  People's Trade Agreement 29 April 2006 
Area
 -  Total 2,513,337 km2
970,405 sq mi
Population
 -  2008 estimate 69,513,221
 -  Density 27.65/km2
71.63/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $636.481 billion
 -  Per capita $9,156.25
Currency
Time zone (UTC-4 to -6)
Internet TLD
Website
www.portalalba.org/index.php/

ALBA, formally the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (Spanish: Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América), is an intergovernmental organization based on the idea of the social, political and economic integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The name "Bolivarian" refers to the ideology of Simón Bolívar, the 19th-century South American independence leader born in Caracas who wanted Hispanic America to unite as a single "Great Nation." Founded initially by Cuba and Venezuela in 2004, it is associated with socialist and social democratic governments wishing to consolidate regional economic integration based on a vision of social welfare, bartering and mutual economic aid. The nine member countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuela and Saint Lucia.[1] Suriname was admitted to ALBA as a guest country at a February 2012 summit. ALBA nations may conduct trade using a virtual regional currency known as the SUCRE. Venezuela and Ecuador made the first bilateral trade deal using the Sucre, instead of the US dollar, on July 6, 2010.[2]

The name initially contained "Alternative" instead of "Alliance", but was changed on June 24, 2009.[3]

History[edit]

Late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, founder of ALBA.

The agreement was proposed by the government of Venezuela, led by President Hugo Chávez, as an alternative to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA or ALCA in Spanish), a proposal by the United States that was opposed by several countries and the region and inspired massive popular protests.[citation needed]

The Cuba-Venezuela Agreement,[4] signed on December 14, 2004, by Presidents Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro, was aimed at the exchange of medical and educational resources and petroleum between both nations. Venezuela began to deliver about 96,000 barrels of oil per day from its state-owned oil company, PDVSA, to Cuba at very favorable prices and Cuba in exchange sent 20,000 state-employed medical staff and thousands of teachers to Venezuela's poorest states. The agreement also made it possible for Venezuelans to travel to Cuba for specialized medical care free of charge.[citation needed]

When it was launched in 2004, ALBA had two member states, Venezuela and Cuba.[5] Subsequently a number of other Latin American and Caribbean nations have entered into this Peoples' Trade Agreement (Spanish: Tratado de Comercio de los Pueblos, or TCP) which aims to implement the principles of ALBA. Bolivia under Evo Morales joined in 2006, Nicaragua under Daniel Ortega in 2007, and Ecuador under Rafael Correa in 2009. Honduras, under Manuel Zelaya, joined in 2008, but withdrew in 2009 after the 2009 Honduran coup d'état. The Caribbean nations Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia also joined.[citation needed]

Countries that been invited to join the ALBA countries have included at times: Jamaica at the invitation of the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez,[6] Mexico at the invitation of the President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega,[7] Hugo Chávez also invited the countries of Central America to join,[8] and also invited was Argentina to use the currency (SUCRE) of this organization.[9] Vietnam has been invited to join as an observer.[10] In the XI Summit of ALBA in February 2012, it was requested the addition of Suriname, St. Lucia and Haiti to the organization. Haiti was granted the special status of permanent member; while the other two countries were named special members, while awaiting their full incorporation.[citation needed]

President Chávez was honored posthumously by the nine member countries of the group and special guests Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Suriname, Guyana and Haiti at the group's 12th Presidential Summit in Guayaquil, Ecuador.[11]

Common Currency[edit]

In October 2009, ALBA leaders agreed during a summit in Bolivia to create a common regional currency. "The document is approved," said Bolivian President Evo Morales, the summit host. President Hugo Chávez announced "The sucre - an autonomous and sovereign monetary system that will be agreed upon today so that it can be implemented in 2010."[12]

Membership[edit]

Main article: Member states of ALBA
Common name
Official name
Date joined
Population
Area (km²)
GDP PPP (US$ bn)
Capital
 Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda 2009-06-24 85,632 442 1.575 St. John's
 Bolivia Plurinational State of Bolivia 2006-04-29 9,119,152 1,098,581 50.904 La Paz
 Cuba Republic of Cuba 2004-12-14 11,451,652 110,861 114.1 Havana
 Dominica Commonwealth of Dominica 2008-01-20 72,660 754 .977 Roseau
 Ecuador Republic of Ecuador 2009-06-24 14,573,101 256,370 134.805 Quito
 Nicaragua Republic of Nicaragua 2007-02-23 5,891,199 129,495 18.878 Managua
 Saint Lucia Saint Lucia 2013-07-20 180,870 617 2.101 Castries
 St. Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2009-06-24 120,000 389 1.259 Kingstown
 Venezuela Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela 2004-12-14 28,199,825 916,445 374.111 Caracas
ALBA-TCP Totals 9 Countries 69,513,221 2,513,337 636.481

In addition, Suriname is a "special guest member" that intends to become a full member.[13] Haiti, an observer member, also intends to join ALBA.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]