Merida, 7th April 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Thirty three social movements from across the hemisphere have expressed solidarity with the Venezuelan government.
Today, representatives of social movements from the member states of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) are concluding a four day conference in Caracas, Venezuela. Representatives met to discuss political, social and economic issues in the region, according to TeleSUR.
Representatives of 33 movements from the conference met with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua to express solidarity with the government of President Nicolas Maduro over the weekend.
“This meeting has helped us to build the new world our liberator Simon Bolivar and Comandante [Hugo] Chavez dreamed of,” Jaua stated.
Brazilian representative Joao Pedro Stedile told the press that the social movements expressed “solidarity with Venezuela towards the offensive of the capitalists and the US”.
“We resolve the problems of Latin America from Latin America,” Stedile stated.
Member of the ALBA operational secretariat Manuel Bertoldi stated, “We reaffirm our commitment and our solidarity with the Venezuelan people and the government of President Nicolas Maduro”.
Bertoldi added that the social movements are “helping consolidate popular integration, which in turn corresponds to the legacy of Hugo Chavez Frias to live in a world without exploiters and exploited”.
At least 50 representatives from 21 countries attended the talks, held in the Hotel ALBA.
Attendees came from countries including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Formed in 2004 by Venezuela and Cuba, ALBA was initially suggested by Chavez as an alternative to the United States' proposal of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). The alliance is based on ideals of mutual aid and welfare.
Last May, ALBA joined with another Venezuelan-led initiative, PetroCaribe. The latter is an energy alliance between 18 Caribbean nations. Venezuela offers other members of the group oil at preferential rates.
Member states of both international organisations agreed to create a “special complementary economic zone” encompassing both ALBA and PetroCaribe during a joint summit in Caracas last December.
After meeting with the ALBA movements, on Sunday Jaua headed to Jamaica to promote both ALBA and PetroCaribe, according to the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry.
Jamaica is a member of PetroCaribe, but is not part of ALBA.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Jaua will also discuss bilateral agreements with his Jamaican counterpart.