OE Watch Commentary: On 5 March, on the fifth anniversary of the death of Hugo Chavez, Latin American leaders were scheduled to meet in Caracas, Venezuela to set the objectives for the continuation of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA). Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro originally founded the group in 2004 as a regional union to resist perceived United States imperialism via the Monroe Doctrine and to encourage other nations to adopt Bolivarian styles of leftist authoritarian government.
As noted in the first excerpted article from Granma Online, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, Bolivarians fear that “the American continent faces an important challenge amid Washington’s hostility and aggressiveness.” After the US government revealed that it would prefer that Peru encourage Venezuelan officials not to attend the 15th annual Summit of the Americas, Bolivarians argued that “destroying the Bolivarian Revolution and overthrowing Maduro is an imperialist priority.” With the US developing assistance programs for Latin American states, like Peru, to reduce their dependence on Venezuelan oil, some Latin American states are indecisive on whether to side with the US or the Bolivarians. Considering this new political and economic divide, the Bolivarians in Cuba and Venezuela fear that the US is “in favor of a military coup in Venezuela.”
The second excerpted article from Granma Online describes how Cuban president, Rául Castro called upon the leaders at the Summit on 5 March, saying leaders “have a strategic and urgent task [to defend] the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.” According to the excerpt, President Castro blames US actions to “destabilize the region” for the current instability in Venezuela. The article suggests that the Bolivarians view instability as a strategic threat to Latin American stability, but also to the image of Bolivarian economic systems. In other words, Venezuelan economic collapse could indicate to other Latin American states that the Bolivarian model (state owned industry and authoritarian government) could be unsustainable, but this remains to be seen. With the two original ALBA founders now deceased, the future of the Bolivarian movement will likely continue to resist US policy initiatives in Latin America, but its survival will depend on stabilizing Venezuela. End OE Watch Commentary (Kelsay)
The president of the Councils of State and Ministers, Army General Raul Castro Ruz, said Monday that the Alba has as a “strategic and urgent task” the defense of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The Cuban leader intervened in the XV Summit of the integration mechanism that coincides with the fifth anniversary of the physical departure of Commander Hugo Chávez, founder with Fidel of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Treaty (ALBA) -TCP).
Raúl referred to the military threat, the hostility and the aggression of imperialism against Venezuela, as well as a neoliberal attack to reverse the social gains achieved since the triumph of Chávez at the end of the last century.
He added that at the present time interventionist policies against the sovereignty of the nations of the region are being carried out, especially against the progressive governments, and attempts are being made to dismantle the integration processes forged in the last decades.
These actions, he said, “destabilize the region and pose dangers to regional peace and security.”