Washington Be Damned, CELAC Makes Real ‘Our America’ (Opera Mundi, Brazil)
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, an organization fathered by Hugo Chavez on the premise of excluding the United States and Canada – and with the intention of uniting Latin America politically and economically – has just held its second summit in Havana. This column from Brazil’s Opera Mundi by Argentine academic Atilio Boron is notable for a number of reasons, and outlines the progress CELAC has made developing an institutional identity free of ‘imperialistic’ influence. After years of covering CELAC, this is the first time we have seen any mention of wresting control of Puerto Rico from the United States. What is so interesting about Latin America’s CELAC debate, is that by defining itself through the exclusion of the United States, the organization is, one might say, all about the United States.
For Opera Mundi, Dr. Atilio Boron starts off this way:
Not a miracle – but almost a miracle: Against all odds, CELAC (the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) has been consolidating as an “our America” institution, and holding its second summit of presidents in Havana [January 28-29]. We say “miracle” because who could have imagined, just five years ago, that Hugo Chávez’ Bolivarian dream – founded on an impeccable diagnosis of global geopolitics – of building a regional body without the presence of the United States and Canada, would bear fruit?
Chávez, and those that accompanied him in this patriotic endeavor, had to overcome all kinds of obstacles: the withdrawal of some governments, the wavering of others, the skepticism of those farthest away, and Washington’s systematic opposition. Galileo would have said eppur si muove [and yet it moves] in contemplating the co-creation of this Bolivarian project – which includes, for the first time, all Latin America and Caribbean nations, with the exception of Puerto Rico – for now! Without a doubt, the strengthening of CELAC – as with UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) in South America – is very good news for the cause of emancipating our Great Homeland.
The White House first tried to stop the launch of CELAC, in December of 2011 in Caracas, attended by its most tireless promoter and mentor [Hugo Chavez], who was already under attack from the cancer that cost him his life. When the empire lost its bid, it mobilized its regional allies to abort the initiative – or at least postpone it indefinitely. That also didn’t work. Its next strategy was the use of some of its unconditional regional pawns as Trojan horses, to spoil the project from within.
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