A new regional economic grouping—the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was formally launched in the Venezuelan capital Caracas in the first week of December 2011. All the top leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean were present. President Chavez and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro described the occasion as the “most important event in the continent” in the last hundred years. Many of the leaders present at the summit said that CELAC would fulfil the dreams of the liberator, Simon Bolivar of creating “a united America”.
The United States have asserted control of Latin America through the The Organization of American States (OAS), which has held domination over Latin American countries sense its establishment in 1948. CELAC hopes to be able to rid Latin America of direct US involvement.
The United States and Canada have not been invited to join CELAC. The aim of CELAC is to be the voice of the region and eventually make the discredited Organisation of American States (OAS), a creation of Washington, irrelevant.
CELAC was initially the brainchild of the former Brazilian president, Lula da Silva and Chavez. The idea was first mooted by the two leaders at the Rio Group Summit held at Cancun in 2010, soon after the OAS under the US influence refused to intercede in Honduras following the military coup there. CELAC has the potential to speed up genuine economic and political integration of the region based on sustainable development, justice and equality.
Title: CELAC: A Washington-Controlled OAS Alternative
Author: Stephen Lendman
Publication: SteveLendman Blog, 4 December 2011
Title: CELAC: Work and Persistence
Author: Nestor Nunez
Publication: Radio Cadena Agramonte , 18 January 2012
Title: CELAC: New Challenge to US Hegemony
Author: Yohannan Chemerapally
Publication: People’s Democracy, 29 January 2012
Faculty Evaluator: Diane Parness, Sonoma State University
Student Researcher: Carmen McCarthy, Sonoma State University