Founded in 2011, CELAC, or the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, is a multilateral group of 33 countries from across the Western Hemisphere that excludes Canada and the United States It was created to be an alternative forum for Latin American countries. Inaugural leaders, such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, envisioned the group as a counterweight to the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS), which they viewed as dominated by the United States. CELAC, unlike the OAS, allows Cuba to be a member. Its stated goals are to promote regional integration and cooperation. CELAC represents 600 million people.
The Seventh Summit of CELAC leaders was held Tuesday, January 24 in Buenos Aires hosted by CELAC President Pro-Tempore Alberto Fernandez, current President of Argentina.
The seventh summit witnessed two firsts:
- At the invitation of CELAC President Alberto Fernandez, the United States was invited and sent US Special Presidential Advisor for the Americas Christopher Dodd U.S. Special Presidential Advisor for the Americas
- The Summit was preceded by a joint proposal of social and trade union organizations. The Social Summit took place Monday, January 23 in the city of Buenos Aires, at the former Naval Mechanics School, a former secret detention center during the military dictatorship, which today functions as a space resigned from the perspective of human rights. With the presence of about 300 leaders of social organizations, unions and popular movements from all over the region, the meeting was a forum to discuss the most relevant issues affecting the different countries in the context of the Conference of Heads of State and Government.
Guest: Alejandro Rusconi, Secretary of International Relations for Evita Movement.
WTF is Going on in Latin America & the Caribbean is a Popular Resistance broadcast in partnership with Black Alliance for Peace Haiti/Americas Team, CODEPINK, Common Frontiers, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Friends of Latin America, InterReligious Task Force on Central America, Massachusetts Peace Action and Task Force on the Americas.