Speech by the Executive Secretary of ALBA-TCP, Ambassador Felix Plasencia, at the Congress on the New International Economic Order of the Progressive International in Havana.
Your Excellency Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of the Republic of Cuba,
Mrs. Lis Cuesta, First Lady of the Republic of Cuba,
Your Excellency Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba,
Dr. Héctor Hernández Pardo, Executive Coordinator of the Fifth International Conference,
David Adler, General Coordinator of the Progressive International,
Thank you for the invitation to participate in this Congress. It is a pleasure to gather in this event where political representatives, popular movements, scholars, and lawmakers will be able to discuss the New International Economic Order (NIEO).
Now, more than ever, the historic and unparalleled relevance of the Alliance plays a vital and strategic role in the promotion and strengthening of NIEO, social justice and the integration of Latin American and Caribbean peoples.
Eighteen years ago, ALBA-TCP emerged as an alternative to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which was defeated, with the decisive role played by Commanders Fidel Castro Ruz and Hugo Chávez Frías. It was born as a grassroots battle, from progressive politics. The Alliance was born to counter the level of dependence and subordination intended to be established.
Commanders Castro and Chávez created a fair and essential space for the development of politics with a humane approach, a space for union, peace, development, complementarity, equality, inclusion, solidarity and integration of the peoples.
The Alliance's values, vision and mission are expressly defined in its fundamental principles and pillars contained in the 2004 joint declaration, such as: "Trade and investment should not be goals per se, but instruments for achieving fair and sustainable development".
The Alliance has been and is a new rebirth, a positive and encouraging reference for the peoples of the world.
Despite the conspiracy, harassment, economic, commercial and financial sabotage, ALBA-TCP has achieved important results for the peoples in four major strategic lines of action:
- Economic: New Economic and Financial Architecture. ALBA-TCP has focused on the construction of a new economic and financial architecture through comprehensive development and social welfare, related to solidarity rather than competition. Institutions such as the Bank of ALBA have been created as a tool for integration and development, based on the needs, capacities and capabilities of each member country.
- Social: Humanist Vision. In order to settle the pending social debt owed to the people, it is worth mentioning, for example: the fund as economic support for the Eastern Caribbean countries; the establishment of a humanitarian air bridge through the airline CONVIASA for the shipment of vaccines (Sinopharm), medical staff, treatments, medical supplies, among others, to some Eastern Caribbean countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Political: Pluripolar and Multi-centered Vision. The Alliance has condemned interference and war, as well as promoted a change towards a multi-centered and pluripolar international system. We have opened new spaces for communication, consultation, coordination and agreement, to build strategic alliances and to develop common positions before third parties. We reaffirmed our support for strengthening the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) as a genuine mechanism for dialogue and political coordination, whose Summit was held last Monday with important results. I take this opportunity to congratulate Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on its election as CELAC's PPT.
- Integration of the Peoples: Social Movements. In this area, we have developed people's diplomacy, promoted and encouraged the participation and coordination of Latin American and Caribbean social movements, so that they can contribute with proposals and economic and social projects that benefit the peoples of the region.
We would also like to mention some of the challenges of ALBA-TCP:
- Consolidate the International Financial Architecture. Promote the model of economic relations to guarantee the Bolivarian ideals to provide the people with "the greatest possible happiness, the greatest possible social security and the greatest possible political stability". It is necessary to consolidate and strengthen the productive development strengths; the implementation of agri-food programs and projects in order to increase the levels of self-sufficiency and guarantee the life quality of the peoples of the Alliance; create a system of independent regional plant and animal health certification; improve air routes and interconnections; develop sustainable development by seeking economic cooperation and solidarity with an equitable, favorable and fair exchange of goods.
- Strengthen relations of political coordination and technical cooperation with third parties in order to reinforce the Alliance's capacity for political and diplomatic relations with other multilateral organizations.
- Strengthening of the ALBA Communication Area, which allows breaking the media siege that the large communication corporations try to impose; reinforcing the technological and communicational digital sovereignty of the peoples; breaking into the social networks to promote the lifestyles proposed by the ALBA countries; using information and communication technologies consistent with the purposes of peace and international security, promoting an open, safe and peaceful environment; and not to perpetrate terrorist acts.
- In the political arena, we reaffirmed our commitment to the development and well-being of our nations, as well as to the defense of national sovereignty without foreign interference; at the same time, we also rejected the postulates of the Monroe Doctrine, which are characterized by their colonizing and interventionist nature, used to justify destabilizing and interventionist actions in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- We rejected the destabilizing plans and actions promoted by powerful foreign factors and national oligarchies who have managed or are attempting to disregard the will of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, democratically and legitimately expressed at the polls.
- We condemned the imposition of unilateral coercive measures against the people of Venezuela and Nicaragua, contrary to international law and the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, which impede the full enjoyment of human rights.
- We reaffirmed our strong rejection of the genocidal and illegal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the government of the United States of America against Cuba, which has been deliberately and conveniently intensified under pandemic conditions.
- We will continue to be vigilant about the catastrophic damage caused by climate change. We stress the importance of safeguarding biodiversity and ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems.
Although it is true that we still have a long way to go to achieve major goals such as those of the 2030 Agenda, we know for sure which paths to take for Latin America and the Caribbean to become a world power where our peoples' living standard is as prosperous as their abundant natural, cultural and geopolitical wealth.
To conclude, we would like to take this opportunity to express our best wishes for the success of the Republic of Cuba in the Chair of the G77+ China during the 2023. We reiterate the willingness of ALBA-TCP in the construction of the New International Economic Order.
Thank you very much.
“We are not mere observers. This world is also our world. No one can replace our united action, no one will speak for us. Only we, and only united, can reject the unfair global political and economic world order that is being imposed on our peoples”.
Speech by Comandante Fidel Castro at the Eleventh Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, October 18, 1995.
Felix Plasencia is Ambassador and Executive Secretary of the ALBA-TCP.