Caribbean, Latin American leaders meet in Venezuela
The United States and Canada have been excluded from the CELAC grouping, which some view as a possible alternative to the Organization of American States.
CARACAS, Venezuela, Friday December 2, 2011 - Regional leaders are attending the third major summit of the Latin American and Caribbean grouping – CELAC - that will discuss energy independence and a common energy policy among other issues.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will host the two-day summit that begins in the capital today and is being attended by representatives of the bloc’s 33 member states.
The leaders will also hold talks on the world economic crisis, as well as independence from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Officials are hoping to formally establish the bloc tomorrow with the signing of the Caracas Declaration.
The United States and Canada have been excluded from the grouping, which some believe to be a possible alternative to the Organization of American States (OAS).
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro insists that CELAC does not seek to replace arrangements such as PetroCaribe, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).
Instead, he said it would act as “the mother organization that gathers them together and allows for the diversity of organisms and proposals and ways of thinking can be developed and consolidated”.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said he intends to propose the creation of a Human Rights Commission to serve as an alternative to the OAS’s Inter-American Human Rights Commission.