HAVANA TIMES, April 10 – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made an unannounced visit to Cuba early Friday on his way back from China. He told the press he plans to meet with both Fidel and Raul Castro to discuss the upcoming summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), to take place on April 16 in Caracas.
The meeting of leaders or their representatives from ALBA member countries —Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua and Dominica—, is seen as a strategy session to organize for the 5th Americas Summit that opens the following day in nearby Trinidad and Tobago.
The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, known by its Spanish acronym ALBA, is a regional integration effort. It stresses fraternity among sister nations, solidarity, mutually beneficial trade and social development.
The Americas Summit (April 17-19) will be US President Obama’s first meeting with Latin American and Caribbean leaders. The only country excluded from the Trinidad and Tobago summit is Cuba.