Summit, Hugo Chavez Declares Monroe Doctrine Dead
"There will be no more conflicts
among us. Enough of them pitting us against one another, which they sometimes
succeed in doing. … Either we build a grand fatherland or there will be no fatherland… The Monroe Doctrine was imposed
here: America for Americans, the Yankees. They imposed their will during 200 years,
but that’s enough."
Venezuela President Hugo Chavez (left) greets close friend and ally, Bolovia President Evo Morales, at the first working summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States in Caracas, Saturday.
Caracas: Mexico President Felipe
Calderon formally opened the summit to promote the creation of the Community of
Latin American and the Caribbean States (CELAC) at the Teresa Carreño Theater
in the capital.
"We will work for the unity and
prosperity of the region … Jalisco, no backsliding! I am very pleased to participate in
this inauguration. The idea of Bolivar endures and is common to all Latin Americans and people
in the Caribbean,” said Calderon during an encounter that will end tomorrow,
Saturday, with the signing of the Caracas Declaration.
“This is the unity to which we aspire.
It is for this reason that I vow to work to make this mechanism of integration to
fruitful and lasting so that it makes real the long-cherished aspiration for
union among nations … We have long considered ourselves brotherly peoples. May
our efforts bring us closer to this desired unity. As the great Jose Marti
wrote, 'we are one continent, one soul.' Long live the Community of Latin
American and Caribbean States!” the Mexican President declared.
At 3:05pm, Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez welcomed the region's presidents and high-ranking officials participating
in the summit to the Bellas Artes Museum. One of the most notable absences was
that of Colombian President Juan
who was replaced by his chancellor, Maria Angela Holguin. Nevertheless, minutes later the president [Chavez] said
that Santos was "about to arrive," dispelled any doubts about the
participation of the Colombian leader.
After Calderon’s speech, President
Hugo Chavez took the floor to praise the creation of CELAC. The Venezuelan leader
made several historical references to the Simon
the Liberator and questioned the policies toward Latin America that the United
States has pursued throughout its history: “We ask for respect, and genuine
“Let us lay the cornerstone of South
American freedom without fear. He who hesitates is lost, as Bolivar said. For
how many more years will we be the besmirched backyard? … unity, unity, unity, only
unity and unity alone will set us free and make us independent,” stated Chavez.
The Venezuelan president
urged his Latin American and Caribbean counterparts not to file away the Caracas
Action Plan, which will be approved in the coming hours: “Let is put forth the
supreme objectives that CELAC is beginning to outline. We ask that the Caracas Action
Plan become part of our daily work. Let us not leave it stored in a computer or
drawer as if nothing had happened.”
The Venezuelan president
added: “There will be no more conflicts among us. Enough of them pitting us against
one another, which they sometimes succeed in doing. They put into our heads
that Guyana was a threat for us - and planned strikes against Guyana … They put
into our heads, those advisors from the north, saying ‘watch out for Brazil -
it is a threat against Venezuela.Either
we build a grand fatherland or there will be no fatherland… The Monroe
Doctrine was imposed here: America for Americans, the Yankees. They imposed
their will during 200 years, but that’s enough.”
CELAC will be formed by Antigua
and Barbuda, Argentina, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile,
Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Granada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua,
Paraguay, Peru, Panama, the Dominican Republic, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines, Santa Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay
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