viernes, 20 de junio de 2008

ALBA: What is Alternativa Bolivariana de las Americas?

Ministro de Estado para la Bancoex
Integración y Comercio Exterior
I. What is the ALBA?
II. Governing principles of the ALBA
III. The Caribbean ALBA.
IV. Initiatives within the framework of the Caribbean ALBA
V. Conclusion
"It is necessary to advance towards the stability of the Continent:
Ministro de Estado para la Bancoex
Integración y Comercio Exterior
in politics, in economic, and in social matters,
This model, EL ALBA, aims towards the stability.
and quoting Jesus Christ words:
“The only way to Peace, is Justice;
the brotherhood, the equality...
There will be no Peace, while there is not Justice in the world”
"Hugo Chávez Frías

II.. What is the ALBA?
The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) is based, fundamentally, upon a
model of politic, economic and social integration of countries, as the Caribbean and Latin
American, which share geographic spaces, historical and cultural bonds, necessities and
common potentialities.

The ALBA is then, a new scheme of integration based on principles of cooperation,
solidarity and complementariness and it arises as an alternative to the neo liberal model,
which has not done but that to deepen the structural asymmetries and to favor the
accumulation of wealth in privileged minorities in detriment of the well-being of countries.

The ALBA is based on the creation of mechanisms to foment cooperative
advantages among the nations allowing compensating the existing asymmetries between
the countries of the hemisphere. ALBA looks for attacking the obstacles that prevent true
integration such as the poverty and the social exclusion; the unequal interchange and the
lack of equity conditions in the international relations, the free access to the information, to
the technology and to the knowledge; it aspires to construct consensuses, to rethink the
agreements of integration based on reaching a national and regional endogenous
development to eradicate the poverty, to correct the social inequalities and to assure and
to increase life quality for all the countries.

In that sense, the construction of the ALBA in the Caribbean will strengthen the
endogenous development, sovereign and balance, of the countries of the region.
ALBA principle is based upon the cooperation through compensatory founds to
correct the disparities and disadvantage of underdeveloped countries compared to those
developed countries.
Therefore the proposals of the ALBA grants them priority to Latin American
integration and privilege negotiation in sub regional blocks
, opening new consultation
spaces in the aims to deepen the knowledge of our positions and to identify spaces of
common interest that they allow to constitute strategic alliances and to stand similar
positions in the negotiation process.

The ALBA proposal is a focused in constructing consensuses that entail to rethink
the agreements of integration based on reaching a national and regional endogenous
development that eradicates the poverty, corrects the social inequity and assures an
increasing quality of life for all.

The proposal of the ALBA adds efforts waking up of the conscience expressed in
the developing of a new political, economic, social and military leadership in Latin America
and the Caribbean; today more than ever, it agrees to re launch the Latin American and Caribbean Union.

President Hugo Chávez in his intervention in ALADI has summarized the principals
of the ALBA as the following topics:
1. To promote the fight against the poverty
2. To preserve the autonomy and Latin American identity
3. The transference of technology, the technical assistance
4. The formation of human resources
5. To prioritize national companies us public beings suppliers
6. The agreements could not be obstacle to the diffusion of the scientific and
technological progress
7. To face the abuse of the monopolies and oligopolies through effective
mechanisms that assure fare competition
8. The foreign investors will not be able to demand the countries by the
handling of state monopolies of public interest
9. Treatment special and differentiated to unequal economies to open
opportunities to the weakest
10. Process of wide social participation, which can be characterized like
11. Economic, social, cultural and civil rights should be interdependent,
indivisible and can not be waived
12. The commercial interests of the investors will not be able to have
supremacy over the human rights or over the sovereignty of the States
13. Creation of founds of structural convergence for the correction of

II Governing principles of the ALBA
1. Neo liberal integration prioritizes the liberalization of the commerce and the
investments; however the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America (ALBA) is
a proposal that focuses its attention on the fight against the poverty and the
social exclusion.

2. In the proposal of the ALBA a crucial importance to the human rights, labor
rights, the woman rights, and to the defense of the atmosphere and physical

3. In the ALBA, the fight against the protectionist policies and the ruinous
subsidies of the industrialized countries cannot deny the right of the poor
countries to protect to its farmers and agricultural producers

4. For the poor countries, where the agricultural activity is fundamental, the
conditions of life of million farmers and natives would be seen irreversibly
affected if it happens a flood of imported agricultural goods, still in the cases
in which subsidy does not exist.

5. The agricultural production is much more that the production of
merchandise, is the base to preserve cultural options, is a form of
occupation of the territory, defines modalities of relation with the nature and
has to directly do with the security and nourishing self-sufficiency. In these
countries agriculture is, rather, a way of life and it cannot be treated like any
other economic activity.

6. ALBA must attack the obstacles integration from its root, that is to say:
a. The poverty of most of the population;
b. The deep inequalities and asymmetries between countries
c. Unequal Interchange and conditions of international relations
d. The weight of an “impossible to pay” debt

e. The imposition of the policies of structural adjustment of the IMF and
the WB and the rigid rules of the WCO that undermines the bases of
social and political support.

f. obstacles to access information, the knowledge and the technology
that are derived from the present agreements of intellectual
property; and,

g. To pay attention to the problems that affect the consolidation of a
true democracy, such as the monopolized social mass media

7. To face such a call Reformation of the State that only took us to unfair
processes of deregulation, privatization and disassembling of the capacities
of public management.

8. As an answer to the brutal dissolution that the State suffered for more than
one decade of neo liberal hegemony, the fortification of the State and
governments, on the bases of the participation of the citizen in public
matters, prevails now

9. It is necessary to question the vindication to the free market and commerce,
as if only these concepts were enough to automatically guarantee the
advance towards greater levels of growth and collective well-being.

10. Without a clear intervention of the State directed to reduce the disparities
between countries, the free competition between unequal countries will lead
us to make the damage of weakest worst.

11. To deepen in Latin American integration requires an economic agenda
defined by the sovereign States, outside all ominous influence of the
international organisms.

III The Caribbean ALBA
The ALBA acquires a special dimension in the Caribbean by the existence of
objective conditions that would allow advancing fast in the process of integration through
the development of an integrated and consistent program of cooperation, oriented to
construct the bases of the sustainable socioeconomic development and the consolidation
of a community of nations.

The Caribbean is reservoir of energy, water and strategic mineral deposits. The
Caribbean region is called to become a world-wide tourist power and services due to its
geographical strategic location, is also, a rich zone of cultural and ethnic profile.

On the other hand, the Community of Caribbean Nations shows an important
political weight in international and multilateral organisms, the UN and the OEA, owning an
important negotiation capacity at the moment of the decision making.
Without a doubt, all these capacities would be harnessed within the framework of
an integration process like which it proposes the ALBA.

The Caribbean is a relatively small market, of 36,25 million inhabitants. Adding the
CARICOM (15.7 million), Cuba (11,3 million) and Dominican Republic: (9.1 million). The
region reaches the 62.8 million inhabitants, if we included Venezuela; the GIP of the region
reaches 80,000 MM USD of which the 36,25% (28,000 MM USD) are contributed by the
15 member countries of the CARICOM and the rest 63,75% (52,000 MM USD) by Cuba
and Dominican Republic.

We found disadvantages in the fact that the countries of the Caribbean have
always presented trades balance of deficit goods and in the circumstance that the
intraregional commerce is very low as what they exports represent 11,75% of the total
exported and what they imports represents the 5.15%.

In fact, 71% of the exports of the Region have North America and Europe as
destiny and just 12% goes to Center America, a 4% goes to South America.
Sectors that shows the higher r indices of export are: mineral products (It includes
petroleum and its derivatives), textile, chemical agents, diverse manufactures, drinks,
foods and metals.

We must emphasize that potentialities of complementariness and substitution of
originating imports of third countries exist intraregional, by elaborated products, inasmuch
as demanded sectors exist that have intraregional production, but that is commercialized
with third part countries.

For the pointed reasons, we can conclude that a great challenge exists, as well as
ample opportunities for the development and the deepening of the intraregional
commerce, which would allow carrying out an efficient substitution of originating imports of
third countries, by products of intraregional origin.

Without a doubt, and as we have indicated the sectors corresponding to "Mineral
Products", "Common Metals" and "Tourism", they present a greater potentiality of
development and complementariness
among the countries of the Caribbean due to the
comparative advantages contributed by each one of the parts.

In social matter also we can affirm that necessities exist and puts common
inasmuch as all the countries of the region require contributing to the development of
Basic Education, to complement the elementary school and to overcome the deficiencies
in high school, which has been historically low in the Caribbean, as well as improving the
schooling averages.

Health is also a common challenge: the Caribbean is the zone after Africa Sub-
Sahara affected the most by the AIDS; in Haiti the prevalence is of 4% whereas in
Bahamas is of 6% (World Bank 2002).

IV Initiatives within the framework of the Caribbean ALBA
The concrete initiatives within the framework of the Caribbean ALBA are follows:
a) The fight against the poverty and the social exclusion. To organize basic
programs of Housing, Services (water, electricity and road), Alphabetization,
Health. To design the Plan of technical and financial support for the development of
the Program of worthy House, taken into account the ethno cultural characteristics
of the region, as well as to establish the bases of the technical and financial
support for the provision of the basic services, fundamentally water and electricity,
road infrastructure and primary attention in the health sector.

b) Joint plan in the matter of alimentary security. To implant a joint plan of
alimentary security through the elaboration of a normative frame, that guarantees
the conditions for the development of the production and food processing
according to norms of correct manufacture, analysis of risks and critical control
posts, as well as the trade and commercialization of nutritional products with low
prices for less resources population of the region.

c) Power and mining development to advance to joint initiatives for the power and
mining development to traverse the joint of chains of aggregation of value
integrated, that add value to the raw materials and impel the endogenous

development in the region base on in the technological innovation, in order to
obtain the productive sovereignty. To rise to a mining-metallurgical map of the
Caribbean and study its industrial potentialities, as bases of a mining strategic plan
of the region. To implement joint strategies of trade and re engineering of logistic
means for the transport, crude storage and distribution of products in the
Caribbean region. To extend the options of primary energy in the Caribbean with
emphasis in the natural gas. To establish the bases for the creation of a found of
mining development towards the technical, financial attendance, investigation and
scientific and technological development of the sector.

d) Portfolio of integrated investments To design and to promote a portfolio of
investments oriented to construct the integrated industrial chains of aggregation of
value to the raw materials.

e) An Academic and Cultural interchange To combine efforts to extend the radius
of action of the Caribbean University, through the opening of Campus in other
countries of the region. To stimulate the efforts of cultural interchange among our
Countries with a looking forward to fortify historical and cultural bonds. To establish
strategic alliances oriented to the formation of human resources in different
sectors, taking advantage of as well as sharing the common capacities and
potentialities in the sector.

f) Tourism To share experiences and development accomplished by the tourist
industry in the region, to lay the foundations of an integrated management taking
advantage of the own capacities in each country. To establish strategic alliances
oriented to the formation of human resources in the tourist sector, to develop the
logistic infrastructure of transporting and, in general, the constitution of a Caribbean
regional air line to construct of a tourist capacity in the region. To explore the
integration initiative, through the services of management, promotion, certification,
logistic and commercialization of the tourist services in the Caribbean.

g) Environmental conservation. To elaborate joint programs of ecosystems
conservation and monitoring, as well as to promote the establishment of support
systems of the communitarian environmental management and the formation of
human resources in this matter.

h) Caribbean regional market. To develop program of incentives to support the
producer and the consumer as well as tributary, financing and access on the credit,
guarantees, promotion, intelligence of market, facilitation of the commerce,
infrastructure of support to the production, establishment of productive circuits
based on the endogenous development new program of incentives.

i) Prevention and management of disasters. Construction of a prevention system
and management of disasters in the region, by means of the establishment of a
system of monitoring and joint operation.

IV Conclusion
We can end saying that the proposal of the President of the Bolivarian
Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frias, implies an historical and important
fact rooted in the dreams of integration of ours father liberators, it provides a true
option of development and a luminous way to the future of Latin America and the

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