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
Coat of arms
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 eleven member countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Grenada, Nicaragua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela.[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, an agreement proposed by the United States) that had been opposed by several countries in the region and inspired massive popular protests.[citation needed]

This 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 the 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. In exchange, Cuba 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 only two member states, Venezuela and Cuba.[5] Subsequently, a number of other Latin American and Caribbean nations 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]

Jamaica, at the invitation of Hugo Chávez, the President of Venezuela [6] and Mexico, at the invitation of Daniel Ortega, the President of Nicaragua,[7] were invited to join the ALBA countries. Hugo Chávez also invited the countries of Central America to join ALBA,[8] and Argentina, to use SUCRE, the currency of this organization.[9] Vietnam has been invited to join as an observer.[10] In the eleventh Summit of ALBA in February 2012, Suriname, St. Lucia and Haiti requested admission 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, at 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 (Venezuela) announced "The sucre [is] an autonomous and sovereign monetary system that will be agreed upon today so that it can be implemented in 2010."[12] However, as of 2014, the currency has not yet been in use in any of the member countries.

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
 Grenada[13][14] Grenada 2014-12-14 St. George's
 Nicaragua Republic of Nicaragua 2007-02-23 5,891,199 129,495 18.878 Managua
 Saint Kitts and Nevis[15][16] Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis 2014-12-14 Basseterre
 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 11 Countries 69,513,221 2,513,337 636.481

In addition, Suriname is a "special guest member" that intends to become a full member.[17] Haiti, an observer member, also intends to join ALBA.[18]

Other ALBA Initiatives[edit]

PetroCaribe[edit]

Established in 2005 and based on earlier agreements between ALBA founders Cuba and Venezuela, Petrocaribe looks to sell oil under a concessionary financial agreement to fourteen member nations situated in the Caribbean. This initiative provides the Caribbean nations with important hydrocarbon resources, which many do not possess on their territories. In the case of Cuba, Petrocaribe ensures a continual flow to a nation that has been deprived of oil since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989.

TELESUR[edit]

Launched in 2005, TeleSUR is a media conglomerate that provides news and current affairs broadcasts throughout the ALBA bloc. The program is based on an internet based television channel and is a cooperative effort between the governments of Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.

PETROSUR[edit]

PETROSUR is an inter-governmental energy alliance between Venezuelan PDVSA, Argentinean YPF, and Brazilian Petrobras nationalized oil companies. The goal of this initiative is to provide funding for social welfare programs within these nations. It is another example of how ALBA nations are using oil revenues to bring aid to poorest inhabitants of these nations.

UNASUR[edit]

Established in 2008, UNASUR is an intergovernmental union charged with integrating the Andean communities of South America a system that currently favors nations with coastal access. The UNASUR agreement could be the beginning for sustainable agriculture in the ALBA bloc as communities living in these nations, particularly Bolivia and Peru possess a wealth of knowledge about cultivation and a favorable climate for such activities.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://alba-tcp.org/contenido/declaracion-de-la-xiii-cumbre-del-alba-tcp-y-conmemoracion-de-su-x-aniversario-14-de-dicie
  2. ^ venezuelanalysis, 7 July 2010, Venezuela Pays for First ALBA Trade with Ecuador in New Regional Currency
  3. ^ "ALBA pasa a ser Alianza Bolivariana de los Pueblos de América" (in Spanish). Venezolana de Televisión. June 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  4. ^ http://www.mltoday.com/Pages/NLiberation/Cuba-VenezPact.html/ initial Cuba-Venezuela TCP
  5. ^ Monthly Review, 2 July 2008, ALBA: Creating a Regional Alternative to Neo-liberalism?
  6. ^ Chávez invita a Jamaica a sumarse al ALBA
  7. ^ Ortega promueve el ALBA en México
  8. ^ Chávez invitó a toda Centroamérica a unirse al ALBA
  9. ^ Chávez invita a Argentina a sumarse a la moneda virtual sucre
  10. ^ Venezuela invita a Vietnam a sumarse al ALBA como observador
  11. ^ Americas Quarterly, "Twelfth ALBA Presidential Summit Takes Place in Ecuador," July 30, 2013. http://www.americasquarterly.org/content/twelfth-alba-presidential-summit-takes-place-ecuador
  12. ^ Bolivia summit adopts new currency - Americas - Al Jazeera English
  13. ^ http://alba-tcp.org/contenido/declaracion-de-la-xiii-cumbre-del-alba-tcp-y-conmemoracion-de-su-x-aniversario-14-de-dicie
  14. ^ http://alba-tcp.org/contenido/granada
  15. ^ http://alba-tcp.org/contenido/declaracion-de-la-xiii-cumbre-del-alba-tcp-y-conmemoracion-de-su-x-aniversario-14-de-dicie
  16. ^ http://alba-tcp.org/contenido/san-cristobal-y-nieves
  17. ^ El Universal, 6 February 2012, ALBA summit ends with entry of guest countries
  18. ^ Haiti Willing to become Full ALBA Member

External links[edit]