Latin America: Evo Morales And Nicolas Maduro Defend The Region’s Union

On May 25, Washington’s advance across the region by means of the Pacific Alliance met a counterattack in Bolivia. Bolivia’s President Evo Morales and Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro relaunched the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA), signed bilateral agreements in 14 strategic fields and denounced the new imperialist offensive against the region.

As a response to the formal invitation extended to Ecuador to join the Pacific Alliance, the Bolivian president called an ALBA meeting of governments and social movements in Guayaquil to “liberate the countries that are still subject to the empire” and “defend the anti-imperialist governments” of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Nicolás Maduro did not mince his words when giving this warning on behalf of the ALBA governments after the second Joint Integration Meeting between Bolivia and Venezuela on May 25: “We raise a voice of warning for the peoples of Latin America because imperialism is coming with a new offensive to impose his economic colonialist project through the FTAA [Free Trade Area of the Americas].” line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
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After the long working meeting, which resulted in new agreements in 14 strategic fields between Bolivia and Venezuela, Maduro participated in a mass political rally at the José Casto Méndez coliseum organised by Bolivian social movements, workers and peasants in support of Venezuela. There, he warned that “US imperialism did the numbers” after the death of Chávez and believe that “this is the end of the independence revolution of the 21st century.” Therefore, the United States is trying now to “impose the FTAA and a process of economic and social regression” in Latin America.

“Is it true that this is the end of the revolution in Latin America? Is it true that our people want neoliberalism again?”, asked Maduro. He called on the people to raise up again the flags of the fight against neoliberalism. “Now it is beginning”, he said referring to the continent’s struggle. “Either we follow the path of the Homeland, the people’s power and liberating socialism, or neoliberalism is back. But it will return with the deadly face of fascism because it would come to wipe out the people who dared to be free.”

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Morales expressed his willingness to organise an ALBA meeting: “I’d like to communicate here publicly with comrade Rafael Correa [president of Ecuador] to organise together a great meeting of the ALBA member countries on the Pacific, in Guayaquil.” This is not a casual call. Ecuador was invited to join the Pacific Alliance at the last summit, where Ecuador’s future participation as an observer country was discussed. “Ecuador is a country which is part of the Pacific, and we receive it with our open arms”, said Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera when he arrived in Guayaquil from Cali on May 24 to attend the inauguration of Correa. font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
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The bilateral meeting also focused on the joint work of each country’s armed forces. After Maduro’s visit to Bolivia, high-ranking officers held a meeting in Caracas to “deepen the Bolivarian ideals in the military doctrine of both states”, according to an official press release. The general of the army of Bolivia Edwin de La Fuente called for the unity of the South American armed forces to design joint actions in defence against foreign threats.

On the occasion of the bilateral meeting held in Cochabamba, Venezuela and Bolivia agreed to strengthen the ALBA School of Defense, which was created two years ago to train military officers and civilians, and to research security and defence. Evo Morales celebrated publicly that Bolivia freed its armed forces from the US meddling, in contrast to the agreements between other countries of the region and the Pentagon. “In the 19th century, we were a single army”, highlighted Maduro. font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
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In the industrial field, they agreed to create textile innovation development centres, and a research, development and training bi-national team to propel the industrialisation of lithium. line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
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Maduro announced the relaunch of Mission Miracle, which offers free eye treatment and surgery and has provided care to more than 2 million Latin Americans.