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 Dominican Republic Danilo Medina[1]
Establishment 23 February 2010 (2010-02-23)
Area
 •  Total 20,454,918[2] km2
7,881,619 sq mi
Population
 •  2011 estimate 591,038,580[2]
 •  Density 29/km2
75/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2014 estimate
 •  Total $9.144 trilliona[2]
 •  Per capita $15,175a[2]
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; Dutch: Gemeenschap van Latijns-Amerikaanse en Caraïbische Staten) is a regional bloc of Latin American and Caribbean states thought out on February 23, 2010, at the Rio GroupCaribbean Community Unity Summit,[3][4][5] and created on December 3, 2011, in Caracas, Venezuela, with the signature of The Declaration of Caracas.[6] It consists of 33 sovereign countries in the Americas representing roughly 600 million people. Due to the focus of the organization on Latin American and Caribbean countries, other countries and territories in the Americas, Canada and the United States, as well as the territories of France, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom in the Americas are not included.[7]

CELAC is an example of a decade-long push for deeper integration within Latin America.[8] CELAC is being created to deepen Latin American integration and to reduce the previously domineering influence of the United States on the internal affairs 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.[8][9][10]

CELAC is the successor of the Rio Group and the Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development (CALC).[11] 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.[12]

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]

Chile Paraguay Argentina Uruguay Peru Brazil Barbados Trinidad and Tobago Colombia Guyana Suriname Jamaica Bolivia Ecuador Venezuela Cuba Dominica Antigua and Barbuda Montserrat Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Lucia Nicaragua Belize Grenada Saint Kitts and Nevis Canada Mexico Panama United States Honduras El Salvador Bahamas Haiti Guatemala Costa Rica Dominican Republic Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Latin American Economic System Union of South American Nations Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization Andean Community Mercosur Caribbean Community Pacific Alliance ALBA Central American Integration System Central American Parliament Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Latin American Integration Association Central America-4 Border Control Agreement North American Free Trade Agreement Association of Caribbean States Organization of American States Petrocaribe CARICOM Single Market and Economy
A clickable Euler diagram showing the relationships between various multinational organisations in the Americas.vde

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.[13][14]

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."[10]

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."[15] 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."[16] 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."[17] Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said it is "A historic fact of great significance."[18]

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."[19]

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.[20][21]

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."[22]

An editorial in Brazil's conservative Estadão 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."[18]

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".[23]

First summit[edit]

ESO exhibition area at the CELAC–EU summit in Santiago.[24]

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.[25] 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.[20][21]

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.[20] 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."[21] 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.[20][21] Santos stated that he would like to see dialogue within the group over whether existing counter-drug regulations should be revised.[20] The president of the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) said he expects that Parlatino will become the main legislative institution of CELAC.[26] 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.[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 composite indices, including human development, viability of the state, rule of law, perception of corruption, economic freedom, state of peace, freedom of the press and democratic level.

Country Area[2]
(km²)
2014
Population[2]
2014
GDP (PPP)[2]
(Intl. $)
2014
GDP (PPP)
per capita
[2]
(Intl. $)
2014
Income
inequality
[2]
1992-2013
(latest available)
HDI[28]
2014
FSI[29]
2015
RLI[30]
2015
CPI[31]
2015
IEF[32]
2015
GPI[33]
2015
WPFI[34]
2015
DI[35]
2015
 Antigua and Barbuda 440 90,900 2,006,791,859 22,077 N/A 0.783 57.8 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
 Argentina 2,780,400 42,980,026 N/A N/A 42.28 0.836 47.6 0.52 32 44.1 1.865 26.11 7.02
 Bahamas, The 13,880 383,054 8,998,371,152 23,491 N/A 0.790 51.6 N/A N/A 68.7 N/A N/A N/A
 Barbados 430 283,380 4,550,463,947 16,058 N/A 0.785 49.3 N/A N/A 67.9 N/A N/A N/A
 Belize 22,970 351,706 2,960,246,535 8,417 53.26 0.715 65.3 0.49 N/A 56.8 N/A 18.54 N/A
 Bolivia 1,098,580 10,561,887 70,023,357,901 6,630 48.06 0.662 78.0 0.41 34 46.8 2.025 31.29 5.75
 Brazil 8,515,770 206,077,898 3,263,866,821,209 15,838 52.87 0.755 62.6 0.54 38 56.6 2.122 31.93 6.96
 Chile 756,096 17,762,647 396,923,419,130 22,346 50.45 0.832 41.5 0.68 70 78.5 1.563 23.00 7.84
 Colombia 1,141,749 47,791,393 638,356,789,320 13,357 53.49 0.720 82.5 0.50 37 71.7 2.720 39.08 6.62
 Costa Rica 51,100 4,757,606 70,974,333,847 14,918 49.18 0.766 46.7 0.68 55 67.2 1.654 12.26 7.96
 Cuba 109,880 11,379,111 234,193,041,471 20,611 N/A 0.769 67.4 N/A 47 29.6 1.988 70.21 3.52
 Dominica 750 72,341 786,877,009 10,877 N/A 0.724 N/A N/A N/A 66.1 N/A N/A N/A
 Dominican Republic 48,670 10,405,943 138,006,693,873 13,262 47.07 0.715 71.2 0.48 33 61.0 2.089 27.31 6.67
 Ecuador 256,370 15,902,916 180,842,611,839 11,372 47.29 0.732 75.9 0.47 32 49.2 1.997 33.65 5.87
 El Salvador 21,040 6,107,706 51,006,165,816 8,351 43.51 0.666 71.4 0.51 39 65.7 2.263 23.66 6.64
 Grenada 340 106,349 1,321,385,460 12,425 N/A 0.750 63.4 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
 Guatemala 108,890 16,015,494 119,384,016,548 7,454 52.35 0.627 80.4 0.44 28 60.4 2.215 37.92 5.92
 Guyana 214,970 763,893 5,234,095,779 6,878 44.55 0.636 70.5 N/A 29 55.5 2.029 27.21 6.05
 Haiti 27,750 10,572,029 18,308,620,060 1,732 60.79 0.483 104.5 N/A 17 51.3 2.074 25.08 3.94
 Honduras 112,490 7,961,680 39,081,348,855 4,909 53.67 0.606 78.2 0.42 31 57.4 2.210 39.27 5.84
 Jamaica 10,990 2,721,252 24,152,366,189 8,875 45.46 0.719 64.6 0.56 41 67.7 2.153 11.18 7.39
 Mexico 1,964,380 125,385,833 2,145,089,043,379 17,108 48.07 0.756 71.8 0.47 35 66.4 2.530 43.69 6.55
 Nicaragua 130,370 6,013,913 29,578,055,571 4,918 45.73 0.631 79.0 0.43 27 57.6 1.947 27.94 5.26
 Panama 75,420 3,867,535 80,811,073,456 20,895 51.67 0.780 54.6 0.53 39 64.1 1.903 28.98 7.19
 Paraguay 406,752 6,552,518 58,391,810,852 8,911 48.30 0.679 71.3 N/A 27 61.1 2.023 33.74 6.33
 Peru 1,285,220 30,973,148 371,334,941,443 11,989 44.73 0.734 71.9 0.50 36 67.7 2.029 31.21 6.58
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 260 54,944 1,276,870,574 23,239 N/A 0.752 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
 Saint Lucia 620 183,645 1,971,069,833 10,733 42.58 0.729 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 390 109,360 1,173,136,086 10,727 N/A 0.720 N/A N/A N/A 68.0 N/A N/A N/A
 Suriname 163,820 538,248 8,955,141,744 16,638 57.61 0.714 68.4 N/A 36 54.2 N/A 18.20 6.77
 Trinidad and Tobago 5,130 1,354,483 43,299,057,266 31,967 40.27 0.772 N/A N/A 39 64.1 2.070 22.39 7.10
 Uruguay 176,220 3,419,516 71,414,080,007 20,884 41.87 0.793 36.5 0.71 74 68.6 1.721 15.94 8.17
 Venezuela 912,050 30,693,827 553,310,362,410 18,276 46.94 0.762 78.6 0.32 17 34.3 2.493 40.61 5.00
zzzCELACa 20,414,187 622,196,181 8,637,582,460,419b 14,913b 48.48 0.724 66.5 0.51 37 59.6 2.073 29.62 6.37
Country Area
(km²)
2014
Population
2014
GDP (PPP)
(Intl. $)
2014
GDP (PPP)
per capita

(Intl. $)
2014
Income
inequality

1992-2013
(latest available)
HDI
2014
FSI
2015
RLI
2015
CPI
2015
IEF
2015
GPI
2015
WPFI
2015
DI
2015
  • a CELAC total used for indicators 1 through 3; CELAC weighted average used for indicator 4; CELAC unweighted average used for indicators 5 through 13.
  • b Does not include Argentina.
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
2011  Venezuela Caracas
I January 2013[36]  Chile Santiago
II January 2014[37]  Cuba Havana
III January 28-29, 2015 [38]  Costa Rica Belén, Heredia
IV January 27, 2016 [39][40]  Ecuador Quito

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ República Dominicana asume presidencia protémpore de la CELAC teleSUR. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "World Development Indicators". World Bank. 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2012-07-11.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "wdi" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ "''Mexidata'' (English) March 1, 2010". Mexidata.info. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  4. ^ Acuerdan crear Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, Associated Press, February 23, 2010.
  5. ^ América Latina crea una OEA sin Estados Unidos, El País, February 23, 2010.
  6. ^ "L. American leaders officially sign CELAC into effect as new bloc". news.xinhuanet.com. December 4, 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-28. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ a b "_ Nuestro Norte es el SUR". Telesurtv.net. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  11. ^ Presidentes constituyen la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, EFE, February 23, 2010.
  12. ^ CounterPunch, 3 August 2010, Behind the Colombia / Venezuela Tensions
  13. ^ http://www.indymedia-letzebuerg.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=44165&Itemid=28 Indymedia (English) February 24, 2010
  14. ^ "Cancilleres del Grupo de Río avanzaron en idea de crear nueva instancia regional". granma.cu. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  15. ^ TeleSURtv.net - Chávez afirma que con nuevo organismo latinoamericano renace el proyecto de Bolívar Archived July 3, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ TeleSURtv.net - Crean nuevo organismo regional en Cumbre de Río Archived February 25, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Clovis Rossi Latin American Unity Cannot Be Dependent on Excluding the U.S. Folha, Brazil, via translation from WorldMeets.US (English) February 22, 2010.
  18. ^ a b EDITORIAL In Latin America, Rhetoric Triumphs Over Reality Estadao, Brazil, via translation by WorldMeets.US (English) February 25, 2010.
  19. ^ TeleSURtv.net - Correa confía en la recién creada Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños[dead link]
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ a b c d Staff writers (3 December 2011). "Venezuela hosts first CELAC summit". PressTV. 
  22. ^ 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
  23. ^ 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. 
  24. ^ "ESO exhibition area at the CELAC–EU summit in Santiago". ESO Press Release. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  25. ^ "Latin American summit re-run to test Chavez health". Reuters. 30 November 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  26. ^ Staff writers (2 December 2011). "Parlatino Interested in Being CELAC Legislative Organization". Prensa Latina. 
  27. ^ "Obama in Cartagena: No change, dwindling hope - Opinion". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  28. ^ "Human Development Report 2015" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2015-12-14. 
  29. ^ "Fragile States Index 2015". The Fund for Peace. 2015-06-17. 
  30. ^ "Rule of Law Index 2015" (PDF). World Justice Project. 2015-06-02. 
  31. ^ "Corruption Perceptions Index 2015". Transparency International. 2016-01-27. 
  32. ^ "Country Rankings: World & Global Economy Rankings on Economic Freedom". Heritage Foundation. 2015-01-27. 
  33. ^ "Global Peace Index 2015". Vision of Humanity. 2015-06-17. 
  34. ^ "2015 World Press Freedom Index". Reporters Without Borders. February 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-18. 
  35. ^ "Democracy Index 2015" (PDF). Economist Intelligence Unit. January 2016. 
  36. ^ ' + gmt_datetime( CmsgList[i].m_datetime ) + '. "CELAC-EU summit opens in Chile - Business News". SINA English. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  37. ^ http://noticias.r7.com/internacional/dilma-viaja-a-cuba-para-segunda-cupula-da-celac-e-inaugurar-muriel-26012014
  38. ^ "Equipos técnicos preparan los primeros documentos para Cumbre de la CELAC". Retrieved 2015-01-25. 
  39. ^ En 3 claves: Lo que debes saber de la IV Cumbre de la CELAC teleSUR. 24 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  40. ^ “Compromiso de hermanos” reúne a mandatarios de Celac en Ecuador ANDES. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.

External links[edit]