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The Declaration of Cumaná

We, the Heads of State and Government of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela, member countries of ALBA, consider that the Draft Declaration of the 5th Summit of the Americas is insufficient and unacceptable for the following reasons...


Cumaná, Venezuela

We, the Heads of State and Government of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica,
Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela, member countries of ALBA, consider
that the Draft Declaration of the 5th Summit of the Americas is
insufficient and unacceptable for the following reasons:

– The Declaration does not provide answers to the Global Economic
Crisis, even though this crisis constitutes the greatest challenge
faced by humanity in the last decades and is the most serious threat of
the current times to the welfare of our peoples.

– The Declaration unfairly excludes Cuba, without mentioning the
consensus in the region condemning the blockade and isolation to which
the people and the government of Cuba have incessantly been exposed in
a criminal manner.

For this reason, we, the member countries of ALBA believe that there
is no consensus for the adoption of this draft declaration because of
the reasons above stated, and accordingly, we propose to hold a
thorough debate on the following topics:

1. Capitalism is leading humanity and the planet to extinction. What
we are experiencing is a global economic crisis of a systemic and
structural nature, not another cyclic crisis. Those who think that with
a taxpayer money injection and some regulatory measures this crisis
will end are wrong. The financial system is in crisis because it trades
bonds with six times the real value of the assets and services produced
and rendered in the world, this is not a “system regulation failure”,
but a integrating part of the capitalist system that speculates with
all assets and values with a view to obtain the maximum profit
possible. Until now, the economic crisis has generated over 100 million
additional hungry persons and has slashed over 50 million jobs, and
these figures show an upward trend.

2. Capitalism has caused the environmental crisis, by submitting the
necessary conditions for life in the planet, to the predominance of
market and profit. Each year we consume one third more of what the
planet is able to regenerate. With this squandering binge of the
capitalist system, we are going to need two planets Earth by the year

3. The global economic crisis, climate change, the food crisis and
the energy crisis are the result of the decay of capitalism, which
threatens to end life and the planet. To avert this outcome, it is
necessary to develop and model an alternative to the capitalist system.
A system based on:

– solidarity and complementarity, not competition;
– a system in harmony with our mother earth and not plundering of human resources;
– a system of cultural diversity and not cultural destruction and
imposition of cultural values and lifestyles alien to the realities of
our countries;
– a system of peace based on social justice and not on imperialist policies and wars;
– in summary, a system that recovers the human condition of our
societies and peoples and does not reduce them to mere consumers or

4. As a concrete expression of the new reality of the continent, we,
Caribbean and Latin American countries, have commenced to build our own
institutionalization, an institutionalization that is based on a common
history dating back to our independence revolution and constitutes a
concrete tool for deepening the social, economic and cultural
transformation processes that will consolidate our full sovereignty.
ALBA-TCP, Petrocaribe or UNASUR, mentioning merely the most recently
created, are solidarity-based mechanisms of unity created in the midst
of such transformations with the obvious intention of boosting the
efforts of our peoples to attain their own freedom. To face the serious
effects of the global economic crisis, we, the ALBA-TCP countries, have
adopted innovative and transforming measures that seek real
alternatives to the inadequate international economic order, not to
boost their failed institutions. Thus, we have implemented a Regional
Clearance Unitary System, the SUCRE, which includes a Common Unit of
Account, a Clearance Chamber and a Single Reserve System. Similarly, we
have encouraged the constitution of grand-national companies to satisfy
the essential needs of our peoples and establish fair and complementary
trade mechanisms that leave behind the absurd logic of unbridled

5. We question the G20 for having tripled the resources of the
International Monetary Fund when the real need is to establish a new
world economic order that includes the full transformation of the IMF,
the World Bank and the WTO, entities that have contributed to this
global economic crisis with their neoliberal policies.

6. The solutions to the global economic crisis and the definition of
a new international financial scheme should be adopted with the
participation of the 192 countries that will meet in the United Nations
Conference on the International Financial Crisis to be held on June 1-3
to propose the creation of a new international economic order.

7. As for climate change, developed countries are in an
environmental debt to the world because they are responsible for 70% of
historical carbon emissions into the atmosphere since 1750. Developed
countries should pay off their debt to humankind and the planet; they
should provide significant resources to a fund so that developing
countries can embark upon a growth model which does not repeat the
serious impacts of the capitalist industrialization.

8. Solutions to the energy, food and climate change crises should be
comprehensive and interdependent. We cannot solve a problem by creating
new ones in fundamental areas for life. For instance, the widespread
use of agricultural fuels has an adverse effect on food prices and the
use of essential resources, such as water, land and forests.

9. We condemn the discrimination against migrants in any of its
forms. Migration is a human right, not a crime. Therefore, we request
the United States government an urgent reform of its migration policies
in order to stop deportations and massive raids and allow for reunion
of families. We further demand the removal of the wall that separates
and divides us, instead of uniting us. In this regard, we petition for
the abrogation of the Law of Cuban Adjustment and removal of the
discriminatory, selective Dry Feet, Wet Feet policy that has claimed
human losses. Bankers who stole the money and resources from our
countries are the true responsible, not migrant workers. Human rights
should come first, particularly human rights of the underprivileged,
downtrodden sectors in our society, that is, migrants without identity
papers. Free movement of people and human rights for everybody,
regardless of their migration status, are a must for integration. Brain
drain is a way of plundering skilled human resources exercised by rich

10. Basic education, health, water, energy and telecommunications
services should be declared human rights and cannot be subject to
private deal or marketed by the World Trade Organization. These
services are and should be essentially public utilities of universal

11. We wish a world where all, big and small, countries have the
same rights and where there is no empire. We advocate non-intervention.
There is the need to strengthen, as the only legitimate means for
discussion and assessment of bilateral and multilateral agendas in the
hemisphere, the foundations for mutual respect between states and
governments, based on the principle of non-interference of a state in
the internal affairs of another state, and inviolability of sovereignty
and self-determination of the peoples. We request the new Government of
the United States, the arrival of which has given rise to some
expectations in the hemisphere and the world, to finish the
longstanding and dire tradition of interventionism and aggression that
has characterized the actions of the US governments throughout history,
and particularly intensified during the Administration of President
George W. Bush. By the same token, we request the new Government of the
United States to abandon interventionist practices, such as cover-up
operations, parallel diplomacy, media wars aimed at disturbing states
and governments, and funding of destabilizing groups. Building on a
world where varied economic, political, social and cultural approaches
are acknowledged and respected is of the essence.

12. With regard to the US blockade against Cuba and the exclusion of
the latter from the Summit of the Americas, we, the member states of
the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America, reassert the
Declaration adopted by all Latin American and Caribbean countries last
December 16, 2008, on the need to end the economic, trade and financial
blockade imposed by the Government of the United States of America on
Cuba, including the implementation of the so-called Helms-Burton Act.
The declaration sets forth in its fundamental paragraphs the following:

“CONSIDERING the resolutions approved by the United Nations General
Assembly on the need to finish the economic, trade and financial
blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, and the statements on
such blockade, which have been approved in numerous international

“WE AFFIRM that the application of unilateral, coercive measures
affecting the wellbeing of peoples and hindering integration processes
is unacceptable when defending free exchange and the transparent
practice of international trade.

“WE STRONGLY REPEL the enforcement of laws and measures contrary to
International Law, such as the Helms-Burton Act, and we urge the
Government of the United States of America to finish such enforcement.

“WE REQUEST the Government of the United States of America to comply
with the provisions set forth in 17 successive resolutions approved by
the United Nations General Assembly and put an end to the economic,
trade and financial blockade on Cuba.”

Additionally, we consider that the attempts at imposing the
isolation of Cuba have failed, as nowadays Cuba forms an integral part
of the Latin American and Caribbean region; it is a member of the Rio
Group and other hemispheric organizations and mechanisms, which
develops a policy of cooperation, in solidarity with the countries in
the hemisphere; which promotes full integration of Latin American and
Caribbean peoples. Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to justify
its exclusion from the mechanism of the Summit of the Americas.

13. Developed countries have spent at least USD 8 billion to rescue
a collapsing financial structure. They are the same that fail to
allocate the small sums of money to attain the Millennium Goals or 0.7%
of the GDP for the Official Development Assistance. Never before the
hypocrisy of the wording of rich countries had been so apparent.
Cooperation should be established without conditions and fit in the
agendas of recipient countries by making arrangements easier; providing
access to the resources, and prioritizing social inclusion issues.

14. The legitimate struggle against drug trafficking and organized
crime, and any other form of the so-called “new threats” must not be
used as an excuse to undertake actions of interference and intervention
against our countries.

15. We are firmly convinced that the change, where everybody repose
hope, can come only from organization, mobilization and unity of our

As the Liberator wisely said:

Unity of our peoples is not a mere illusion of men, but an inexorable decree of destiny. — Simón Bolívar