CELAC takes off like a rocket!
The CELAC summit started with a massive collection of what we can only call, the people:
Political, trade union, and social organizations from member countries of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will advocate in Argentina for regional integration and respect for the sovereignty of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean. pic.twitter.com/cGhufhsMAM
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) January 23, 2023
There was worrying news from Venezuela, who had to send its Foreign Minister to CELAC in Buenos Aires after learning of a plan “to carry out a series of aggressive actions” against President Nicholas Maduro and his delegation”. I have no doubt that this was a real and imminent threat to his life.
The most important announcement made, is the new currency of the SUR. This is a direct step toward the collapse of the dollar
The presidents of Brazil and Argentina announced the development of a common currency. What is known currently is that Brazil and Argentine will implement for the MERCOSUR regional bloc and Paraguay and Uruguay will join.
One reason for this move into a regional currency is that the historical focus on the US dollar makes trade between countries difficult and controlled. For example, Argentina’s net reserves are only $6 billion and it is burdened by the biggest odious IMF loan in history.
There is much criticism. Initially, The SUR (“south”) will be circulated along with the Argentine peso and the Brazilian real. Criticism is coming in from financial analysts, Bloomberg Opinion observers, representatives of the Bank of England and former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. But this is expected, is it not? The path toward this new currency will not be easy, yet Latin America is focused on de-dollarization while the USA still believes this region is their backyard. There are technical difficulties and legislative issues. These will be discussed in a follow-up article. All we know so far is that Washington and its financial establishment are nervous. It seems as if this move is first considered to be a local means of bilateral trade, as we see the rest of the world moving towards. For that alone, it is already useful. How it will integrate with a single BRICS currency is still very vague. BRICS will accept Argentina as a member, and this will make the negotiations easy.
Mr.Lavrov, in one of his speeches during his African visit noted that new currencies within regional blocs are necessary, given that the mechanisms created and promoted by the West – such as the inviolability of property, the presumption of innocence, fair competition and globalization – can be trampled upon at any time. The SUR then seems to have fair winds and following seas behind the concept.
Throughout the CELAC summit, the various leaders in the Latin Americas did not pull their punches. They sense an opportunity to become free of US threats and by hook or by crook they are going to take it. Brazil re-instituted relations with Venezuela and Cuba, which were discontinued under Bolsonaro.
Although never said explicitly, the theme which comes through in the various speeches and addresses to CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), is very clear: Yankee go home!
The 33 Latin American leaders demanded the end of the U.S. blockade against Cuba and Venezuela and signed the “Buenos Aires Declaration,” through which they pledged to deepen integration, climate action, democratic institutions, and multilateralism. The 111-point agreement first focuses on the importance of consolidating Latin America as a zone of peace, advancing food security, and deepening cooperation in health. “We will work for peace, social justice, prosperity, and security for all,” said Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, upon taking the pro tempore presidency of CELAC.
The Buenos Aires Declaration also points out the progress achieved in the CELAC’s political dialogue with extra-regional partners, including the European Union, China, India, the African Union, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Regarding Peru, as Ollie Vargas says, the regional power is closing ranks against the Coup in Peru. Peru has called out the military to suppress the popular protests and the death count is increasing.
The majority of Latin America is closing ranks against the coup in Peru.
The US is isolating itself by enthusiastically supporting the dictatorship there. This isn’t 2019. https://t.co/W0EqywoOZM
— Ollie Vargas (@OllieVargas79) January 25, 2023
President Arce from Bolivia stated that the coup government in Peru is trying to take by force what they could not win at the polls.
“They try to take by force what has not been won at the polls” – President Arce on the coup attempts across Latin America. https://t.co/Dat90fq64L
— Kawsachun News (@KawsachunNews) January 24, 2023
A deep solidarity was noticeable and expressed throughout the CELAC summit. Here is Honduras’ President Xiomara Castro expressing thanks to the region for their support during the Honduras coup in 2009.
Honduras’ President Xiomara Castro used the CELAC summit to thank leaders across Latin America for opposing the US-backed coup in 2009 and supporting the Honduran people’s 12-year struggle to overturn the corrupt right-wing coup regimehttps://t.co/Dvm6Rkuqpx
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) January 25, 2023
The President of Colombia stated:
Colombian President Gustavo Petro calls for an end to Nixon-era War on Drugs policies that have proven to be a “resounding failure” for the world, having claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and put millions of Black people in prison.
Speaking at CELAC summit pic.twitter.com/ZSKYocB72z
— BreakThrough News (@BTnewsroom) January 24, 2023
The US Commander of the Southern Command, Commander General Laura Richardson, has been active and we all will remember her astonishment at the ‘riches’ of the region. In addition, in a spectacular failure to grasp the realities of the day, she came up with the cockamamie idea that all the Latin American countries with Russian weapons should give those to Ukraine, and the USA will replace the weapons.
This was soundly rejected in the voice of Colombian President Gustavo Petro. “Colombia will not supply Ukraine with Soviet military equipment. Not a single piece of Russian equipment, in whatever condition it may be on our territory, will be used in this conflict.”
Southcom is however not done with her efforts to regain or retain a grasp on Latin America. Will we see more coups, more efforts toward regime change, and more meddling from those who do not understand that their Monroe Doctrine era is over and the principles have been soundly rejected? I would guess yes, as we see this right now, with Peru. And with the announcement of the SUR as a currency, we may see more bloodshed. What is valid though is that the Latin American region cannot bring its strength to principles of multipolarity if they cannot free themselves from being the backyard of the US.
The latest scary speech by the Commander of the Southern Command is about the danger for the US of Chinese interference in South America. She may be specifically referring to the possible purchase of JF-17’s by Argentina, to the pressure for the construction of the planned Chinese base in Tierra del Fuego, and to the port of Chancay in Peru on the Pacific Ocean. All of this is of tremendous strategic and geopolitical impact on the region. She may also be referring to the Chinese battery company CATL, which is the major part of a consortium that won the bidding to mine Bolivia Lithium. Bolivian President Luis Arce declared it the launch of the “historic” industrialization of the country’s huge and untapped lithium reserves, with more than $1bn to be invested in the project’s first phase.
We are also seeing Latin American ‘miracles’. The British specialized magazine The Banker has recognized Bolivia as the Latin American country with the best economic performance in 2022. Bolivia is governed by leftist principles. This news will not be a headline in large regional media as the media does not report on successes by the left.
CELAC was at a standstill for a number of years now. Lula da Silva kicked it into high gear. I have high expectations that this will be the main organization that will integrate appropriately into BRICS, SCO, ASEAN and the other new financial and possibly military organizations that we see starting to flourish across the part of our world that is becoming free of hegemonic meddling. The question is how strongly the meddling hegemon will kick back because I also expect a major effort to continue owning this part of the world. CELAC was a good start but now, the work starts.
Give us peace, and we will show you our strength!
Previously in the Latin America series:
Why do we fight?
How countries adopt multipolarity – Venezuela.
How do countries adopt multipolarity – The case of Bolivia.
How do countries adopt multipolarity – The case of Nicaragua.