The 7th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will be held on Tuesday, January 24, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which currently holds the pro tempore presidency of the bloc. The upcoming summit is considered historic especially since it marks the return of Brazil to the regional integration mechanism after three years, and will see the participation of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who played an important role in the creation of the body. In December 2008, Brazil hosted the first summit of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (CALC) in Costa do Sauípe, Bahia, an event which helped establish CELAC three years later. The Buenos Aires Summit will also have participation of the majority of the newly-elected progressive leaders leaders of the region. In addition to Argentine President Alberto Fernández and Brazilian President Lula da Silva, Bolivian President Luis Arce, Chilean President Gabriel Boric, Colombian President Gustavo Petro, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, Honduran President Xiomara Castro, Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, among others, have confirmed their participation.
On January 24, the 7th Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will be held in Buenos Aires, attended by around 15 presidents of the region, including Lula da Silva, and chaired by the host Alberto Fernández. It is obvious how important it is for Argentina’s government that the CELAC Summit be successful, with the delicate internal political situation that the country is going through, with a presidential election on October 22. That the summit and the transfer of the pro tempore presidency (to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, an ALBA member country) go well would help improve the image of Argentina throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. However, the Latin American right wing, hand in hand with the US State Department and its intelligence agencies, are conspiring to prevent the development of CELAC, strengthened recently with the addition of the progressive governments of presidents Gustavo Petro in Colombia, Gabriel Boric in Chile, and Xiomara Castro in Honduras—a country that will soon join ALBA.
2023 marks the 200th anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine. This imperial fiat arrogates to the US the unilateral authority to intervene in the affairs of sovereign states in the Western Hemisphere and to exclude any other power from meddling in what is viewed as Washington’s backyard. Two centuries later, the doctrine faces a fragile future. Going into the new year, the neoliberal model for regional development has been discredited in Latin America and the Caribbean The socialist model is under siege, and the social-democratic model is encountering unfavorable conditions. Paradoxically, the very problems that the progressive movements protested against, which brought them into power, now have become theirs to solve, once in power and in a time of mounting economic distress.
Often, when you mention Haiti in conversation and the anti-imperial struggle that has consistently been waged by the Haitian people against imperialist forces for centuries, you are met with minor acknowledgement and some confusion by the listener. Even in cases where there are those who understand Haiti’s battle against imperialist interventions and incursions – many people are still unclear about: “why Haiti.” This is especially true in the present, where there exists a propagandized belief that there are no broader imperialist aspirations in the Caribbean, insofar as those interests cannot be tied to interests in Latin America, and especially to Cuba. Persistent myths about Haiti and confusion about the nature of politics in the Caribbean have allowed systematic investigations into (neo) imperial enterprises in the broader region to go largely uninvestigated.
Evo Morales, former President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia and President of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba, was a special guest of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) during festivities marking the 212th anniversary of Mexico’s independence. The other international guests included John and Gabriel Shipton, father and brother of journalist Julian Assange; family of the late farmworker and activist César Chávez; Aleida Guevara, daughter of Che Guevara; and former Uruguayan President “Pepe” Mujica. On September 15 Morales witnessed President Andrés Manuel López Obrador calling out the cry for independence. In addition to the traditional “¡Viva México!” of the heroes of independence, AMLO yelled, “Death to corruption! Death to racism! Death to classism!”
Demands for reparations are growing across the Caribbean, following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. The British monarchy have come under heightened demands from several Caribbean countries to undergo the reparatory justice process and issue an apology for their part in the slave trade. It comes after Royal tours of the Caribbean earlier this year led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, followed by Prince Edward and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex were bundled by photo-ops disaster and tone deaf gifts. Niambi Hall-Campbell, Chair of the Bahamas National Reparations Committee, said: “As the role of the monarchy changes, we expect this can be an opportunity to advance discussions of reparations for our region.”
Born in the Bahamas in the late 1940s when the archipelago was still under the British rule, Niambi Hall Campbell-Dean’s mother was taught in school a version of colonial history that did not focus on the suffering of the slaves who were brought to the islands against their will. "Their version [of the history], I think, more than changing the story was the story of a mission. For example, my mother, who was born as a baby boomer, grew up learning that coal came from a certain part of England. But it was never about the archipelago of the islands of the Bahamas. Their focus of the education was really on creating good Commonwealth citizens. As citizens of this land, you learned about their history, their story, and all the wives that King Henry had.
For the Peoples of our Region, the Failure of Biden’s Summit of the Americas Would be a Welcome Event
I applaud the decision by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador not to attend this week’s so-called Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles and hope that by Wednesday a majority of the nations in our region would have joined him. However, I am hoping that unlike President Lopez Obrador who is still sending the Mexican foreign minister, other nations demonstrate that their dignity cannot be coerced and stay away completely. Why do I take this position? If the threat by the Biden Administration as host of the Summit not to invite Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, all sovereign nations in the Americas’ region, was not outrageous enough, the announced rationale that the administration did not invite these nations because of their human rights record and authoritarian governance is an absurd indignity that cannot be ignored.
The People’s Summit for Democracy began in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 8. However, it is much more than just an alternative to the Biden administration’s and the Organization of American States’ Summit of the Americas. The Summit of the Americas has historically been a place for the United States, which plays a central role in the OAS and which continues to exploit the Americas for resources and markets, to present its own agenda for the region. But this year, beginning with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, many Latin American leaders across the continent decided to boycott the summit entirely. The boycott was a protest against the exclusion of the Latin American nations that the United States is most hostile towards: Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba.
What does it mean to defend our Americas? For the Black Alliance for Peace, defending our Americas begins with a re-drawing of the map of the Americas. No longer can the United States stand at the center of the hemisphere, upholding an eternal whiteness while imposing a suffocating capitalism. Instead, for BAP, Haiti is the center of the Americas. Solidarity with Haiti is key to the defense of the Americas. Haiti endures the original territory of Black emancipation from slavery, of Black independence from colonialism, and Black resistance to racism and global capitalism. Yet Haiti has also become the region’s laboratory for neocolonialism and neoliberalism and a centuries-long counter-revolution against Black freedom and sovereignty.
Cuba has once again hosted the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean that make up the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP) for their 21st Summit. The main objectives of Friday’s meeting, held at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana, was to share common development strategies and analyze the regional political situation. ALBA-TCP is currently made up of 10 countries, following the reincorporation of Saint Lucia in the last edition of these summits, also held in Havana: Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saint Lucia.
Empire denies its own existence. It does not exist as an empire but only as benevolence, with its mission to spread human rights and sustainable development across the world. However, that perspective means nothing in Havana nor in Caracas, where ‘human rights’ has come to mean regime change, and where ‘sustainable development’ has come to mean the throttling of their people through sanctions and blockades. It is from the standpoint of the victims of empire that clarity comes. US President Joe Biden is to host the Summit of the Americas in June, where he hopes to deepen Washington’s hegemony over the Americas. The United States government understands that its project of hegemony faces an existential crisis caused by the weaknesses of the US political system and the US economy, with limited funds available for investment within its own country, let alone for the rest of the world.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic on September 26, 2020 during the General Debate of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves said that [...] the international campaign for reparatory justice, widely promoted by governments across our Caribbean Community and by social activists within the industrialized metropoles, must form part of any serious efforts to achieve the sustainable development agenda […]. On November 3, 2020 during the "Peacebuilding and sustaining peace" debate organized by the United Nations Security Council the President of the "CARICOM Reparations Commission" Hilary Beckles [...] called on the Council to acknowledge the global reparatory movement, adding that while most crimes against humanity were committed in past, the current century will be one of peace and justice […].