There is no reason why Latin America and the Caribbean should not have their own body of political consensus
Speech by General of the Army Raúl Castro Ruz, president of the Councils of State and Ministers, at the plenary session of the Summit of Latin America and Caribbean Unity, February 23, 2010
The decision that we have just adopted to create the Community pf Latin American and Caribbean States is of great historical significance.
Cuba considers that the conditions are present to rapidly advance toward the constitution of a purely Latin American and Caribbean regional organization, comprising and representing the 33 independent nations of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The next summit, in Caracas in 2011, will be a propitious moment for concluding the preparatory work for the new organization and setting it in motion. In that context, we consider it advisable to undertake efforts to promptly define its statutes and modus operandi in such a way that these contain the collective interests in relation to the greater integration and unity of our region. It corresponds to Venezuela to preside over the preparatory labors, including the drafting of the documents.
Cuba, together with the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean, has always supported the just demand of the Republic of Argentina in relation to the Malvinas Islands and other territories in the vicinity. Now, we firmly back the legitimate right of that sister nation to the natural resources of its continental platform, and the demand for an end to foreign activities of hydrocarbon prospecting and exploitation. These actions, which have the authorization of the British government, entail serious violations of international law. The Argentine people will not lack our support in this noble struggle.
Cuba likewise supports the Ecuadorian government in its just claim against the Financial Action Task Force and its attempt to award itself the authority to qualify or disqualify sovereign governments without any basis whatsoever. It reminds us of the spurious U.S. Department of State lists of countries which allegedly sponsor terrorism.
Another issue that claims our attention is climate change, which constitutes the principal threat that humanity is confronting. What happened in Copenhagen was antidemocratic, lacking in transparency and imposed via an exclusive negotiations format which ignored the majority of the states party to the Convention.
Colombia’s Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez said that it was not only the exclusion of the North American countries that the government disapproved of, but also that the new organization would be used in opposition to existing unions such as UNASUR and the Organization of American States (OAS).
There is the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) – to name two new ones. They add to a list of existing organizations such as the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) and the Andean Community. This, however, would be the first group that includes every country in Latin America and excludes the US.