Ecuador to Become ALBA’s 8th Member

HAVANA TIMES, June 4 — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told the press on Wednesday that Ecuador will be the next country to join the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, at an upcoming meeting (June 24) of the member countries’ leaders, reported IPS.

The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, known by its Spanish acronym ALBA, is a regional integration effort that currently has Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Honduras, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines as it seven member nations.

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

The ALBA played a key role at the meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) in San Pedro Sula this week where it strongly supported a consensus agreement reached on Wednesday to lift the suspension that ejected Cuba from the hemispheric organization back in 1962.