ALBA

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Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América  (Spanish)

Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America
Coat of arms of ALBA-TCP
Coat of arms
Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (orthographic projection) Without Honduras.svg
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[1] km2 (970,405 sq mi)
Population
• 2008 estimate
69,513,221
• Density
27.65/km2 (71.6/sq mi)
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
• Total
$636.481 billion
• Per capita
$9,156.25
Currency
Time zone (UTC-4 to -6)
Internet TLD

ALBA or ALBA-TCP, formally the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (Spanish: Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América) or the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America - Peoples’ Trade Treaty (Spanish: Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América - Tratado de Comercio de los Pueblos), 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.[2]" 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.[3] 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.[4]

The name initially contained "Alternative" instead of "Alliance", but was changed on June 24, 2009.[5]

History[edit]

Late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, founder of ALBA.

The agreement was proposed by the government of Venezuela, led by President Hugo Chávez[6]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,[7] 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.[8][9]

When it was launched in 2004, ALBA had only two member states, Venezuela and Cuba.[10] [11]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, [12] and Mexico, at the invitation of Daniel Ortega, the President of Nicaragua,[13] were invited to join the ALBA countries. Hugo Chávez also invited the countries of Central America to join ALBA,[14] and invited Argentina to use SUCRE, the currency of this organization.[15] Vietnam has been invited to join as an observer.[16] 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 and the other two countries were named special members, while awaiting their full incorporation.[17]

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.[18]

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."[19] As of 2015, the virtual currency is being used to compensate trade between Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, and especially Ecuador and Venezuela.[20]

Membership[edit]

Common name
Official name
Date joined
Population
Area (km²)
E.E.Z + Area (km²)
GDP PPP (US$ bn)
Capital
 Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda 2009-06-24 85,632 442 110,531 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 11,451,652 110,861 460,637 114.100 Havana
 Dominica Commonwealth of Dominica 2008-01-20 72,660 754 29,736 0.977 Roseau
 Ecuador Republic of Ecuador 2009-06-24 14,573,101 283,561 1,333,600 134.805 Quito
 Grenada[3][21] Grenada 2014-12-14 109,590 348.5 27,770 1.467 St. George's
 Nicaragua Republic of Nicaragua 2007-02-23 5,891,199 129,495 254,254 18.878 Managua
 Saint Kitts and Nevis[3][22] Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis 2014-12-14 54,961 261 10,235 1.087 Basseterre
 Saint Lucia Saint Lucia 2013-07-20 180,870 617 16,156 2.101 Castries
 St. Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2009-06-24 120,000 389 36,691 1.259 Kingstown
 Venezuela Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela 2004-12-14 28,199,825 916,445 1,387,952 374.111 Caracas
ALBA-TCP Totals 11 Countries 69,694,091 2,514,563.5 5,057,735 641.136

In addition, Suriname is a "special guest member" that intends to become a full member.[23] Haiti, an observer member, also intends to join ALBA.[24] Syria and Iran are also observer members.[25][26]

Other ALBA Initiatives[edit]

XIV ALBA-TCP summit, 2017

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 1991.

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.[citation needed] It is another example of how ALBA nations are using oil revenues to bring aid to poorest inhabitants of these nations.

Criticism[edit]

In August 2013, BBC News stated that "Alba consists of one oil-rich nation and various minnows wishing to benefit from its largesse" and that "there is little chance of the rhetoric becoming reality any time soon".[27] As the crisis in Bolivarian Venezuela began, President Nicolás Maduro called on other ALBA members to begin contributing, though the smaller members distanced themselves from the proposal since they only sought the benefits from Venezuela.[27]

During the 2017 Venezuelan protests, Williams Dávila, President of the MERCOSUR Committee of International Affairs, Interregional and Strategic Planning, criticized ALBA, stating that "populism always attacks the OAS because it is composed of sovereign states, but the states that are part of ALBA act as the vassal countries of Cuba".[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The total area of ALBA reaches 5,057,735 km² if the maritime areas is included .
  2. ^ https://www.britannica.com/topic/Bolivarian-Alliance-for-the-Peoples-of-Our-America
  3. ^ a b c "Declaration of the ALBA-TCP XIII Summit and commemoration of its tenth anniversary, December 14, 2014 - ALBA TCP". Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  4. ^ venezuelanalysis, 7 July 2010, Venezuela Pays for First ALBA Trade with Ecuador in New Regional Currency
  5. ^ "ALBA pasa a ser Alianza Bolivariana de los Pueblos de América" (in Spanish). Venezolana de Televisión. June 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-30. [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/opinion/arana-latin-americas-go-to-hero.html?mcubz=1
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-11-04. Retrieved 2005-12-02.  initial Cuba-Venezuela TCP
  8. ^ https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/CubaVenezuela-Alliance-Piccone-Trinkunas.pdf
  9. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=j0yqCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=ALBA+free+medical+care+for+venezuelans&source=bl&ots=1kcm4pcavD&sig=kzVXy62LeE74LxdLFpGLTK4tHwQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigkPL1qbbWAhUBhiYKHVVdB4wQ6AEIOjAD#v=onepage&q=ALBA%20free%20medical%20care%20for%20venezuelans&f=false
  10. ^ Monthly Review, 2 July 2008, ALBA: Creating a Regional Alternative to Neo-liberalism?
  11. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=j0yqCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=ALBA+free+medical+care+for+venezuelans&source=bl&ots=1kcm4pcavD&sig=kzVXy62LeE74LxdLFpGLTK4tHwQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigkPL1qbbWAhUBhiYKHVVdB4wQ6AEIOjAD#v=onepage&q=ALBA%20free%20medical%20care%20for%20venezuelans&f=false
  12. ^ "Cuba Revolución: Chávez invita a Jamaica a sumarse al ALBA". Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  13. ^ Diario, El Nuevo. "El Nuevo Diario". Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  14. ^ (ABN), Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias. "Chávez invitó a toda Centroamérica a unirse al ALBA". Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  15. ^ "Chávez invita a Argentina a sumarse a la moneda virtual sucre - Radio La Primerísima". Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  16. ^ Venezuela invita a Vietnam a sumarse al ALBA como observador Archived July 20, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=j0yqCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=ALBA+free+medical+care+for+venezuelans&source=bl&ots=1kcm4pcavD&sig=kzVXy62LeE74LxdLFpGLTK4tHwQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigkPL1qbbWAhUBhiYKHVVdB4wQ6AEIOjAD#v=onepage&q=ALBA%20free%20medical%20care%20for%20venezuelans&f=false
  18. ^ 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
  19. ^ "Bolivia summit adopts new currency". Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  20. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=j0yqCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=ALBA+free+medical+care+for+venezuelans&source=bl&ots=1kcm4pcavD&sig=kzVXy62LeE74LxdLFpGLTK4tHwQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigkPL1qbbWAhUBhiYKHVVdB4wQ6AEIOjAD#v=onepage&q=ALBA%20free%20medical%20care%20for%20venezuelans&f=false
  21. ^ "Granada - ALBA TCP". Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  22. ^ "San Cristóbal y Nieves - ALBA TCP". Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  23. ^ El Universal, 6 February 2012, ALBA summit ends with entry of guest countries
  24. ^ "Haiti Willing to become Full ALBA Member : Escambray". Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  25. ^ "Farsnews". en.farsnews.com. Retrieved 2017-04-14. 
  26. ^ "A Guide to ALBA | Americas Quarterly". www.americasquarterly.org. Retrieved 2017-04-14. 
  27. ^ a b Plummer, Robert (1 August 2013). "Alba alliance ambitions lay bare Latin trade confusion". BBC News. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  28. ^ "Dávila: Víctimas de uso armas prohibidas en manifestaciones están bajo protección del derecho internacional". La Patilla (in Spanish). 14 April 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 

External links[edit]