“This crisis is like a mutating virus, nobody knows how long [it will last] and where it will lead. That is why we should not expect anything [from others] but from ourselves: the solution to our problems is in our own hands and will,” said Hugo Chávez Frías, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on Thursday.
During his opening statement at the Summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), the President said that the South cannot wait for magic formulas from the North, and even less so from the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank.
“Giving the International Monetary Fund the emphasis it is now receiving following the G-20 Summit, and injecting millions of millions of dollars into it would be like asking an arsonist to put out a fire,” he indicated. President Chávez also emphasized that the IMF is one of the biggest causes of this crisis, and that it is no more than an instrument of imperialism and economic dictatorship imposed on the peoples of South America.
According to news agency Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN), the President said that the ALBA summit will take important positions and that the first point of discussion will be to evaluate the international economic crisis. In this context they discussed the Unique System of Regional Compensation (Sucre, a common currency for ALBA members).
Summit of the People
President Chávez opened the 7th ALBA summit on Thursday in Cumaná, which is in the Venezuelan state of Sucre in the country’s northeast.
The Presidents of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo; Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma; Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega; Honduras, Manuel Zelaya; and Cuba, Raul Castro; as well as the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit attended the conference. The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Foreign Minister of Ecuador joined as official observers.
ALBA members are expected to take a joint position of progressive countries to the next Summit of the Americas, being held in Trinidad and Tobago on April 17th, 18th, and 19th.
The ALBA is an initiative from Venezuela and Cuba established to integrate the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is focused on fighting poverty and social exclusion.
During the ALBA Summit, member heads of state signed an accord for the Sucre.
The previous ALBA Summit, held on November 26th in Caracas, analyzed the impacts of the global financial crisis on member countries. The results of the meeting included a meeting in support of the government of Bolivia and the signing of an accord for cooperation in the production of food.
Radio Nacional de Venezuela (RNV), Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / April 17, 2009