Community of Latin American and Caribbean States

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Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
Map of North, Central and South America indicating CELAC members.
Map of North, Central and South America indicating CELAC members.
Official languages
Demonym
  • Latin American
  • Caribbean
Membership 33 member states
Leaders
 -  President pro tempore Costa Rica Luis Guillermo Solís
Establishment 23 February 2010 (2010-02-23)
Area
 -  Total 20,413,300[1] km2
7,881,619 sq mi
Population
 -  2011 estimate 591,038,580[1]
 -  Density 29/km2
75/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $6.945 trilliona[1]
 -  Per capita $12,014a[1]
Gini 49.6
high
HDI (2011) Increase 0.721
high
Internet TLD .latb
a. Does not include Barbados, Cuba, Guyana, Jamaica and Suriname.
b. Proposed.

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Spanish: Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, CELAC; Portuguese: Comunidade de Estados Latino-Americanos e Caribenhos; French: Communauté des États Latino-Américains et Caribéens) is a regional bloc of Latin American and Caribbean states thought out on February 23, 2010, at the Rio GroupCaribbean Community Unity Summit,[2][3][4] and created on December 3, 2011, in Caracas, Venezuela, with the signature of The Declaration of Caracas.[5] It consists of 33 sovereign countries in the Americas representing roughly 600 million people. Absent from the bloc are Canada and the United States, as well as the territories of France, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom in the Americas.[6]

CELAC is an example of a decade-long push for deeper integration within the Americas.[7] CELAC is being created to deepen Latin American integration and to reduce the once overwhelming influence of the United States on the politics and economics of Latin America. It is seen as an alternative to the Organization of American States (OAS), the regional body organised largely by Washington in 1948, ostensibly as a countermeasure to potential Soviet influence in the region.[7][8][9]

CELAC is the successor of the Rio Group and the Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development (CALC).[10] In July 2010, CELAC selected President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez and President of Chile Sebastián Piñera, as co-chairs of the forum to draft statutes for the organization.[11]

Member states[edit]

CELAC comprises 33 countries speaking five different languages:

Eighteen Spanish-speaking countries (56% of the area, 63% of the population)

One Portuguese-speaking country (42% of the area, 34% of the population)

One French-speaking country (0.1% of the area, 1.6% of the population)

Twelve English-speaking countries (1.3% of the area, 1.1% of the population)

One Dutch-speaking country (0.8% of the area, 0.1% of the population)

Twelve countries are in South America, which accounts for 87% of the area and 68% of the population.

Rationale[edit]

On February 23, 2010, Latin American leaders at the 23rd Rio Group summit in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, said they were forming an organisation of the Latin American and Caribbean states. Once its charter was developed, the group was formally established in July 2011, at a summit in Caracas. The bloc will be the main forum for political dialogue for the area, without the United States or Canada.[12][13]

In an interview in February 2010, President Evo Morales of Bolivia said, "A union of Latin American countries is the weapon against imperialism. It is necessary to create a regional body that excludes the United States and Canada. ...Where there are U.S. military bases that do not respect democracy, where there is a political empire with his blackmailers, with its constraints, there is no development for that country, and especially there is no social peace and, therefore, it is the best time for prime ministers of Latin America and the Caribbean to gestate this great new organization without the United States to free our peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean."[9]

At the 23rd Rio Group summit, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela said, "Now here, in Mexico, a document, a commitment, the creation of a body of Latin America and the Caribbean, without the USA, without Canada (...) Now we can say from Latin America, from Mexico (...) we have revived the dream and project of Bolívar."[14] Mexican President Felipe Calderón added, "We decided, for the first time, to form the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States as a regional space consisting of all states."[15] Calderon said, "We cannot remain disunited; we cannot successfully take on the future based on our differences; now it's up to us to unite without discounting the things that make us different … to unite based on our similarities, which far outweigh our differences."[16] Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said it is "A historic fact of great significance."[17]

President Rafael Correa of Ecuador said that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States "can be much more effective than other instances to solve ourselves, with our own strengths, our own visions, our conflicts."[18]

Reaction[edit]

The announcement prompted debate and discussion across Latin America and the Caribbean about whether it's more beneficial to have close ties with U.S. and Canada or to work independently.[19][20]

Raúl Zibechi, writing for Mexico's center-left La Jornada newspaper said, "The creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States is part of a global and continental shift, characterized by the decline of U.S. hegemony and the rise of a group of regional blocs that form part of the new global balance."[21]

An editorial in Brazil's conservative Estadao newspaper said, "CELAC reflects the disorientation of the region's governments in relation to its problematic environment and its lack of foreign policy direction, locked as it is into the illusion that snubbing the United States will do for Latin American integration what 200 years of history failed to do."[17]

As the first summit was underway in December 2011 United States President Barack Obama's senior adviser on Latin America, Daniel Restrepo, informed reporters from Miami that the U.S. government would "watch and see what direction CELAC takes".[22]

First summit[edit]

ESO exhibition area at the CELAC–EU summit in Santiago.[23]

CELAC's inaugural summit was due to be held in mid-2011, but was postponed because of the ill-health of Hugo Chávez, president of the host nation, Venezuela. The summit was instead held on 2 and 3 December 2011 in Caracas.[24] It primarily focused on the global economic crisis and its effects on the region. Several leaders, including presidents Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Dilma Rousseff and Juan Manuel Santos, encouraged an increase in regional trade, economic development, and further economic cooperation among members in order to defend their growing economies.[19][20]

Chavez, and other leaders such as Rafael Correa and Daniel Ortega, expressed hope that the bloc would work to further Latin American integration, end U.S. hegemony and consolidate control over regional affairs.[19] Chavez, citing the Monroe Doctrine as the original confirmation of U.S. interference in the region, openly called for CELAC to replace the OAS: "As the years go by, CELAC is going to leave behind the old and worn-out OAS."[20] Correa called for a new human rights commission to replace the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Other leaders argued that the organisation should be used as a tool to resolve regional disagreements and uphold democratic values, but not as a replacement of the OAS.[19][20] Santos stated that he would like to see dialogue within the group over whether existing counter-drug regulations should be revised.[19] The president of the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) said he expects that Parlatino will become the main legislative institution of CELAC.[25] Amongst the key issues on the agenda were the creation of a "new financial architecture," sanction for maintaining the legal status of coca in Bolivia and the rejection of the Cuban embargo by the U.S.[26]

The next two summits are scheduled to be held in Chile in 2013 and Cuba in 2014.[27]

Indicators[edit]

The following table shows various data for CELAC member states, including area, population, economic output and income inequality, as well as various indices, including human development, viability of the state, perception of corruption, economic freedom, state of peace, freedom of the press and democratic level.

Country Area[1]
(km²)
2011
Population[1]
2012
GDP (PPP)[1]
(Intl. $)
2012
GDP (PPP)
per capita
[1]
(Intl. $)
2012
Income
inequality
[1]
1992-2010
(latest available)
HDI[28]
2012
FSI[29]
2013
CPI[30]
2013
IEF[31]
2014
GPI[32]
2013
WPFI[33]
2014
DI[34]
2012
 Antigua and Barbuda 440 89,069 1,749,346,536 19,640 N/A 0.760 58.0 N/A N/A N/A 20.81 N/A
 Argentinaa 2,780,400 41,086,927 468,498,513,220 12,016 44.49 0.811 46.1 34 44.6 1.907 25.27 6.84
 Bahamas, The 13,880 371,960 11,573,907,114 31,116 N/A 0.794 54.7 71 69.8 N/A N/A N/A
 Barbados 430 283,221 7,501,891,305 26,488 N/A 0.825 50.8 75 68.3 N/A N/A N/A
 Belize 22,970 324,060 2,572,013,847 7,937 53.13 0.702 67.2 N/A 56.7 N/A 17.05 N/A
 Bolivia 1,098,580 10,496,285 54,534,287,570 5,196 56.29 0.675 80.8 34 48.4 2.062 31.04 5.84
 Brazil 8,514,880 198,656,019 2,327,393,659,397 11,716 54.69 0.730 62.1 42 56.9 2.051 34.03 7.12
 Chile 756,096 17,464,814 390,557,694,784 22,363 52.06 0.819 42.3 71 78.7 1.589 25.80 7.54
 Colombia 1,141,750 47,704,427 497,842,816,555 10,436 55.91 0.719 83.8 36 70.7 2.634 36.68 6.63
 Costa Rica 51,100 4,805,295 61,187,875,723 12,733 50.73 0.773 48.7 53 66.9 1.755 12.23 8.10
 Cuba 109,890 11,270,957 N/A N/A N/A 0.780 72.8 46 28.7 1.922 70.92 3.52
 Dominica 750 71,684 890,752,807 12,426 N/A 0.745 N/A 58 65.2 N/A N/A N/A
 Dominican Republic 48,670 10,276,621 103,157,307,081 10,038 47.20 0.702 73.2 29 61.3 2.103 27.17 6.49
 Ecuador 256,370 15,492,264 149,300,247,160 9,637 49.26 0.724 78.6 35 48.0 2.059 31.16 5.78
 El Salvador 21,040 6,297,394 44,025,347,588 6,991 48.33 0.680 73.2 38 66.2 2.240 21.57 6.47
 Grenada 340 105,483 1,152,712,390 10,928 N/A 0.770 64.6 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
 Guatemala 108,890 15,082,831 75,706,858,689 5,019 55.89 0.581 80.7 29 61.2 2.221 36.61 5.88
 Guyana 214,970 795,369 2,659,790,097 3,344 44.54 0.636 70.8 27 55.7 1.962 27.08 6.05
 Haiti 27,750 10,173,775 12,290,594,482 1,208 59.21 0.456 105.8 19 48.9 2.075 23.53 3.96
 Honduras 112,490 7,935,846 33,126,788,108 4,174 56.95 0.632 78.3 26 57.1 2.332 37.14 5.84
 Jamaicab 10,990 2,712,100 18,771,740,693 7,083 45.51 0.730 65.6 38 66.7 2.274 10.90 7.39
 Mexico 1,964,380 120,847,477 2,022,201,852,138 16,734 47.16 0.775 73.1 34 66.8 2.434 45.04 6.90
 Nicaragua 130,370 5,991,733 24,002,370,974 4,006 40.47 0.599 79.2 28 58.4 1.931 27.70 5.56
 Panama 75,420 3,802,281 62,150,949,742 16,346 51.92 0.780 55.8 35 63.4 1.893 30.20 7.08
 Paraguay 406,752 6,687,361 40,378,225,464 6,038 52.42 0.669 71.8 24 62.0 2.060 31.81 6.26
 Peru 1,285,220 29,987,800 322,830,543,984 10,765 48.14 0.741 72.3 38 67.4 2.258 31.70 6.47
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 260 53,584 985,075,607 18,384 N/A 0.745 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
 Saint Lucia 620 180,870 2,066,837,113 11,427 42.58 0.725 N/A 71 70.7 N/A N/A N/A
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 390 109,373 1,208,207,583 11,047 N/A 0.733 N/A 62 67.0 N/A N/A N/A
 Suriname 163,820 534,541 4,662,206,190 8,722 52.88 0.684 71.2 36 54.2 N/A 18.20 6.65
 Trinidad and Tobago 5,130 1,337,439 35,508,628,732 26,550 40.27 0.760 62.6 38 62.7 2.074 23.28 6.99
 Uruguay 176,220 3,395,253 53,565,203,089 15,776 45.32 0.792 38.4 73 69.3 1.528 16.08 8.17
 Venezuela 912,050 29,954,782 397,400,109,858 13,267 44.77 0.748 75.3 20 36.3 2.370 35.37 5.15
zzzCELACc 20,413,308 604,378,895 7,231,454,355,618 12,173 49.60 0.721 67.5 42 59.9 2.075 28.78 6.36
Country Area
(km²)
2011
Population
2012
GDP (PPP)
(Intl. $)
2012
GDP (PPP)
per capita

(Intl. $)
2012
Income
inequality

1992-2010
(latest available)
HDI
2012
FSI
2013
CPI
2013
IEF
2014
GPI
2013
WPFI
2014
DI
2012
  • a GDP data are for 2006.
  • b GDP data are for 2005.
  • c CELAC total used for indicators 1 through 3; CELAC unweighted average used for indicators 4 through 12.
Note: The colors indicate the country's global position in the respective indicator. For example, a green cell indicates that the country is ranked in the upper 25% of the list (including all countries with available data).
Highest quartile Upper-mid (2nd to 3rd quartile) Lower-mid (1st to 2nd quartile) Lowest

Summits[edit]

CELAC Summits
Summit Year Host country Host city
I 2011  Venezuela Caracas
II January 2013[35]  Chile Santiago
III January 2014[36]  Cuba Havana

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "World Development Indicators". World Bank. 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  2. ^ "''Mexidata'' (English) March 1, 2010". Mexidata.info. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  3. ^ Acuerdan crear Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, Associated Press, February 23, 2010.
  4. ^ América Latina crea una OEA sin Estados Unidos, El País, February 23, 2010.
  5. ^ "L. American leaders officially sign CELAC into effect as new bloc". news.xinhuanet.com. December 4, 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-28. 
  6. ^ Gooding, Kerri. "IVCC encouraging bilingualism and cultural integration". The Barbados Advocate (Advocate Co.). Retrieved December 26, 2011. "However, at present much of the integration occurs at the governmental, political and policy level as opposed to the personal, individual level, hence Tutor Jamal Henry added his voice to the plea by the Ambassador to have more persons embracing the culture and learning Spanish. CELAC comprises 33 nations making up an estimated population of 600 million people with five official languages. United and integrated the countries of CELAC can be powerful, “together [the 33 nations of CELAC] are the number one food exporter on the planet,” further commented Ambassador Febres." 
  7. ^ a b MercoPress, 2010 Feb. 24, "Mexico Gives Birth to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States," http://en.mercopress.com/2010/02/24/mexico-gives-birth-to-the-community-of-latinamerican-and-caribbean-states
  8. ^ New York Times, 2010 Feb. 28, "Quake Overshadows Clinton Tour of Region," http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/01/world/americas/01clinton.html?ref=americas
  9. ^ a b "_ Nuestro Norte es el SUR". Telesurtv.net. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  10. ^ Presidentes constituyen la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, EFE, February 23, 2010.
  11. ^ CounterPunch, 3 August 2010, Behind the Colombia / Venezuela Tensions
  12. ^ http://www.indymedia-letzebuerg.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=44165&Itemid=28 Indymedia (English) February 24, 2010
  13. ^ "Cancilleres del Grupo de Río avanzaron en idea de crear nueva instancia regional". granma.cu. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  14. ^ TeleSURtv.net - Chávez afirma que con nuevo organismo latinoamericano renace el proyecto de Bolívar[dead link]
  15. ^ TeleSURtv.net - Crean nuevo organismo regional en Cumbre de Río[dead link]
  16. ^ Clovis Rossi Latin American Unity Cannot Be Dependent on Excluding the U.S. Folha, Brazil, via translation from WorldMeets.US (English) February 22, 2010.
  17. ^ a b EDITORIAL In Latin America, Rhetoric Triumphs Over Reality Estadao, Brazil, via translation by WorldMeets.US (English) February 25, 2010.
  18. ^ TeleSURtv.net - Correa confía en la recién creada Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños[dead link]
  19. ^ a b c d e Rueda, Jorge; James, Ian; Toothaker, Christopher (3 December 2011). "Leaders at Americas talks: world economy top worry". Seattle pi (Hearst Communications Inc.). Associated Press. 
  20. ^ a b c d Staff writers (3 December 2011). "Venezuela hosts first CELAC summit". PressTV. 
  21. ^ Raúl Zibechi Latin America's Inexorable March Toward 'Autonomy from the Imperial Center' La Jornada, Mexico, via translation by WorldMeets.US (English) February 26, 2010
  22. ^ Christopher Toothaker (2011-12-02). "CELAC, Community Of Latin American And Caribbean States, New Organization Aims To Strengthen Regional Integration". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  23. ^ "ESO exhibition area at the CELAC–EU summit in Santiago". ESO Press Release. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  24. ^ "Latin American summit re-run to test Chavez health". Reuters. 30 November 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  25. ^ Staff writers (2 December 2011). "Parlatino Interested in Being CELAC Legislative Organization". Prensa Latina. 
  26. ^ "Obama in Cartagena: No change, dwindling hope - Opinion". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  27. ^ Staff writers (2 December 2011). "CELAC Summit Votes for Cuba to Host 3rd Meeting". Prensa Latina. 
  28. ^ "Human Development Report 2013". United Nations Development Programme. 2012-03. Retrieved 2013-03-21. 
  29. ^ "The Failed States Index 2013". The Fund for Peace. 2013-07. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  30. ^ "Corruption Perceptions Index". Transparency International. 2013-12. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  31. ^ "Country Rankings: World & Global Economy Rankings on Economic Freedom". Heritage Foundation. 2014-01. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  32. ^ "Global Peace Index 2013". Vision of Humanity. 2013-06. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  33. ^ "Press Freedom Index 2014". Reporters Without Borders. 2014-02. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  34. ^ "Democracy Index 2012" (PDF). The Economist. 2013-03. Retrieved 2013-03-21. 
  35. ^ ' + gmt_datetime( CmsgList[i].m_datetime ) + '. "CELAC-EU summit opens in Chile - Business News". SINA English. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  36. ^ http://noticias.r7.com/internacional/dilma-viaja-a-cuba-para-segunda-cupula-da-celac-e-inaugurar-muriel-26012014

External links[edit]