Saturday, December 10, 2011

Challenge to US Hegemony in the Western Hemisphere?

globalresearch | A summit of huge importance was held in Venezuela on December 2-3. Two hundred years after Latin America’s independence fighters first raised the battle cry for a united Latin America, 33 heads of states from across the region came together to form the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

For Latin America, the summit represented a further step away from its traditional role as the United States’ backyard and its emergence as a player in its own right in international politics.

The importance of this new institution in world politics cannot be overstated. The combined gross domestic product of the countries within CELAC make it the third-largest economic powerhouse in the world.

It is also home to the world’s largest oil reserves and the first and third largest global producers of food and energy, respectively.

CELAC also builds on existing inter-regional bodies and experiments.

These include the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), UNASUR’s Defense Council, the Bank of the South (which only awaits the approval of the Uruguayan parliament in order to bring to life a bank that will count on US$20 billion for development projects), and the establishment of trade mechanisms between some countries that replaces the US dollar with local and new regional currencies.

Another important integration initiative is the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), a nine-nation anti-imperialist bloc initially formed in 2004 by socialist governments of Cuba and Venezuela.

CELAC explicitly excludes the US and Canada.

However, Cuba, which has been excluded from the Organisation of American States (OAS) for daring to challenge the US empire and carry out a revolution, was not only included but selected to host the 2013 CELAC Summit. Chile had already been selected to host next year's.

Some are already arguing the consolidation of CELAC will represent the final nail in the coffin of the Organisation of American States (OAS), traditionally dominated by the powerful neighbors up north.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said on November 29: “We believe we need a profound change in the inter-American, basically Latin American, system because the US’s gravitational power [within the OAS] is clear.”

“We need another system ... where we discuss our problems in the region, not in Washington [the headquarters of the OAS], where institutions that are removed from our vision, traditions, values and needs are not imposed on us.”

The same day, Bolivian vice-president Alvaro Garcia Linera said the summit would represent “a meeting of the peoples, defending our destiny without tutelage, without patronage, so that together we can find a solution to our problems, without the presence of the US”.

Imperial weakening
The step comes at a time when US economic and political power is in decline and the European Union is on the verge of collapse.

“Latin America is a continent on the move faced with a world in crisis,” Garcia Linera said. “Latin America is the vanguard of the world in regard to ideas, in regard to transformations, in regard to proposals at the service of the people and humanity.”

Luis Bilbao, editor of the Latin America-wide magazine America XXI, said in a November 28 article that CELAC represents “an opportunity without precedent to position the region as the starting point in a new phase in the history of humanity”.

Latin America is in a unique position given the global context, marked by three key features: “It maintains a dynamic of regional convergence while all other [continents] are suffering from violent centrifugal forces; until now it has suffered less as a result of the recession in the imperialist centres; [and] within this heterogeneous convergent whole exists a vital nucleus that, faced with the collapse of capitalism … has raised the banner of 21st century socialism.”

The US had tried everything possible to stop CELAC. Former Colombian president, Alvaro Uribe, a US puppet, made the most recent attempt.

A November 28 article said that during a trip to meet with Venezuela’s right-wing opposition, Uribe urged them to issue a “public statement” denouncing the growing relationship between Colombia and Venezuela.

Under Uribe, relations between Venezuela and Colombia nearly degenerated into war. Uribe also worked to undermine the progress of UNASUR from within.


Big Don said...

Is this the international equivalent of living next door to 64130...??

CNu said...

lol, yeah, if 64130 had the lion's share of food, energy, and raw materials.  Frankly, it's a lot more like having to deal with a BD Klan infestation in the neighborhood

Big Don said...

Saw something the other day about Argentina's re-invigorated coveting of the Falklands.  Wonder if  UK would defend them, as in 1982, if the Argies try and grab them again..?? 

CNu said...

The answer is a resounding YES as geological surveys have shown there might be up to 60 billion barrels
(9.5 billion cubic metres) of oil under the sea bed surrounding the

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