V Extraordinary Summit - Cumaná, Venezuela - April 16 and 17, 2009
The Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of America (ALBA-TCP or Peoples’ Trade Agreement), gathered at the Fifth Extraordinary Summit that took place in the city of Cumana, Sucre Estate, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on 16th and 17th April 2009, and ratified their commitment to the principles stipulated at the mutual agreement signed on 14th December 2008, which was endorsed by the presidents of the Republic of Cuba and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The leaders welcomed Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as a new full member of the ALBA-TCP, and they congratulated the government and the Prime Minister of their sister nation, Mr. Ralph Gonsalves, for their historic decision to join their organization.
They also saluted the presence of the President of the Republic of Paraguay, Mr. Fernando Lugo, who attended the ALBA-TCP Summit as an observer. They acknowledged his election through popular vote in 2008, a clear demonstration of the majoritarian wish for political, economic and social change that exist in this sister nation
The Summit of the ALBA-TCP heeded the Paraguayan proposal that suggested that spaces of integration afford a special and differential treatment to those countries with a relatively low degree of development and who do not have a coastline. Members of the Summit also supported the Paraguayan proposal to advance in matters pertaining to the regional integration of energy in the Southern Cone.
They manifested their gratitude for the presence of Chancellor Fander Falconi, who led the Ecuadorian delegation attending the Summit as observers.
They congratulated the citizens and the Government of their sister Republic of Bolivia, for giving a lesson of dignity to the peoples of Latin America, and halting the most recent manipulation attempt fostered by internal factions and international actors, who had formed an alliance to preserve their privileges.
They showed their gratification for the wave of progressive changes taking place in the region, changes that are the result of broad social movements that advocate for justice and reject economic and political models that foster dependency and exclusion. Such models have encouraged inequality and disparity, and are responsible for the 21st century global economic crisis that has been generated by developed countries.
With regards to the economic global crisis, they highlighted once again the responsibility borne by the economic policies of developed nations. They stressed the fact that any solutions offered must be the result of broad participative discussions, and that it is unacceptable that the international community is being imposed solutions adopted by exclusionary groups like the G20.
They reiterated their willingness to solidarily cooperate in the search for solutions, as long as these solutions take into account the special and differential treatment that must be afforded to the most vulnerable economies, and the impact that the crisis has on those with less resources.
They highlighted the need to establish a new global economic order, based on the principles of justice and solidarity, as well as the need for a profound restructuration of the existing international financial system.
They expressed their appreciation for the presence of His Excellency Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, president of the 63rd group of sessions of the United Nations General Assembly. Father D’Escoto brought an invitation for the presidents and prime ministers of the member countries of the ALBA-TCP and sympathizing countries, to attend “a United Nations conference of the highest level on the global financial crisis and its effects on development”, which will take place in New York between the 1st and 3rd June 2009, and will feature the presence of Heads of State and Government. They reiterated their full support to the conference, emphasizing that this Forum, due to its universal and democratic nature, is the most appropriate space to debate such a consequential matter. They urged their counterparts in the world to attend this historically transcendent event.
They stressed their willingness to join forces and create a solid and fair financial system, governed by open and transparent decision-making mechanisms, which privilege the participation of every nation in equal conditions. The new system would need to be independent from the neoliberal standards ingrained in the international model that has prevailed since the end of World War II, a model whose very nature is responsible for the existing imbalances.
They celebrated the signing of the agreement that will signify the launching of the Sucre, and the setting in motion of specific steps that will help the Sucre come into effect in the coming months.
They received with pleasure the setting off of the following projects: ALBA’s Cultural Fund; Transnational Company for Energy, Gas and Oil; the creation of a regulatory body responsible for the sanitary registry medicines within the ALBA (Albamed). These projects are being funded by resources allocated by the Bank of the ALBA.
They instructed the Ministerial Council of the ALBA-TCP to promote the establishment of a Venezuelan technical-institutional mechanism in cooperation with the Bank of Iran.
Likewise, they instructed the Bank of the ALBA to initiate contact with the Central Asian Economic Cooperation Bank, with the objective of promoting a mechanism of technical-institutional cooperation between both organizations.
In solidarity with the efforts made by the Haitian peoples and Government, the presidents of ALBA-TCP countries agreed to allocate $5 million to a literacy campaign, and $9.315.194 to a project for agricultural development in the region of L’artibonito.
Likewise, they approved the allocation of $13.026.094 to the development of agricultural projects in Honduras, Suriname, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Nicaragua and Belize.
They highlighted the negative consequences to the environment resulting from the capitalist model of production and consumption. This model has caused an increase in the number of disastrous natural phenomena. In this respect, they instructed the Ministerial Council of the ALBA-TCP to create the ALBA’s international humanitarian brigade, which will have its headquarters in La Guaira, Vargas Estate, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and will count on the presence of all member countries.
Following the stipulated procedures, they instructed the Ministerial Council of the ALBA-TCP to create the Bicentenary Organizational Commission for the commemoration of the revolution that brought independence to the continent.
They expressed their interest in the Bolivian proposal to create a Council for Human Rights within the ALBA. The ALBA’s cabinet has been instructed to proceed to the study and evaluation of this proposal.
They expressed their satisfaction for the success of the Simon Bolivar satellite launch, undertaken by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The resulting infrastructure will suppose an advance in regional integration and will help develop initiatives of profound social impact for the peoples of the ALBA.
To this effect, it was explained that the ALBA is currently working on the formulation of social programs available to all member countries, which will be effective thanks to satellite technology. It is expected that these programs will begin to be implemented in 2010.
An inter-regional commission was created with the objective of setting specific deadlines and designing policies for the implementation of social programs. This commission will be coordinated by the Ministry of Popular Power for Telecommunications and Information Technology of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and will count on the participation of the relevant Ministers of the countries conforming the ALBA-TCP.
They ratified their most firm condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and expressions, along with their complete disapproval of any terrorist act, method and practice irrespective of where, by whom, and against who they are perpetrated, including those terrorist acts in which States have direct or indirect involvement.
Within this context, they reiterated their demand to the Government of the United States, to extradite the fugitive terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Likewise, they requested that the five Cuban heroes who serve an unfair sentence for fighting terrorism and are held in United States’ prisons are set free.
From Cumana, birthplace of Marshal Antonio Jose de Sucre, 50 years after the victory of the Cuban Revolution, 30 years after the Sandinista Revolution, and during the 10th anniversary of the Bolivarian Revolution, the member countries of the ALBA-TCP ratified their unyielding commitment to make deep advances in the path to the independence and integration demanded by the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.