ALBA Leaders Converge on Cuba

By Circles Robinson

Havanas Malecon Seawall.  Photo: Caridad
Havana's Malecon seawall. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, Dec. 12 – Leaders and top-level representatives of the nine Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) nations are in Havana or soon to arrive for a summit that gets underway on Sunday.

One of the first leaders to touch down at the Jose Marti International Airport was Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a key player in the trade and social development agreements with the other ALBA nations.

The other members are Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Dominica, Honduras, Ecuador, Antigua and Barbuda, San Vincent and the Grenadines.

The ALBA stresses fraternity among sister nations, solidarity, mutually beneficial trade and social development. It was founded in 2004 as a counterweight to the now defunct Free Trade Area of the Americas, a profit-oriented project designed by the United States.

Recently re-elected Bolivian President Evo Morales is expected to be among the leaders attending the two-day summit.

The ALBA countries are about to launch a new currency called the “sucre” to facilitate regional exchange and reduce dependence on the US dollar for cooperation and trade.