Cuba: Raul Castro criticizes “outside interference” in Latin America

at the opening of the CELAC Summit in Havana

Raul Castro addressing the opening of the summit of Latin American and Caribbean countries in Havana.

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban President Raul Castro warned today about threats of “foreign interference” in Latin America and the Caribbean from the “centers of power that are not resigned to losing control of the region,” reported dpa news.

Speaking at the opening of the second summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Castro criticized the “long history of intervention in the region’s internal affairs, military invasions and bloody coups,” in a veiled reference to the United States, which is not a participant in the event.

At the same time, the Cuban leader called on the CELAC countries to build their own model adapted to regional realities.

“We live in a world ruled by an unjust and exclusionary international order in which the threats to peace and external interference in the region continue,” said Castro.

“The ‘centers of power’ are not resigned to losing control of this rich region, or waive attempts to change the course of history in our countries to regain lost influence and benefit from its resources,” he added.

At the start of the two-day event, the leaders observed a minute of silence in memory of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. This is the first summit of CELAC after the death of Chavez.

The summit began with a long musical recital of Latin American music, including salsa, merengue, bossa nova and Andean rhythms.

The 2-day summit of Latin American and Caribbean Countries opened today in Havana.
The 2-day summit of Latin American and Caribbean States opened today in Havana.

Attending as guests at the meeting are UN Secretary General Ban Ki -moon , and the head of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, among others. They join the presidents and prime ministers of most of the region.

During the opening ceremony, Castro also recalled that the region has been affected by the crisis in the global economy. The president called for the creation of a “new cooperation paradigm” between countries, and issued a call to work for free and universal access to education, full employment and the eradication of illiteracy.

“All are achievable goals, whose fulfillment will measure the progress of our region,” Castro told the representatives of the 33 countries present.

The Cuban president said the region has the “human capital, economic infrastructure and export capacity” to achieve development.

According to the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), the regional poverty rate in 2012 amounted to 28.2 percent of the population, affecting 70.5 million children.

34 thoughts on “Cuba: Raul Castro criticizes “outside interference” in Latin America

  • Late Addition…. El Salvador and Costa Rica are set to elect leftist presidents this month.

  • Democratic Socialism……only answer

  • Inflation is currently running at over 56%. Do you understand the effect of such high inflation on savings?

    There are shortages of flour, oil, toilet paper, meat, milk.. the list grows each day. The poor cannot afford to buy these necessities on the black-market. Therefore they are worse off.

    After vowing not to devalue the currency, Maduro did just that last week.

    As of January 2014, the official exchange rate is 1 USD to 6.3VEF while the black market exchange rate is over ten times higher since the actual value of the bolívar is overvalued for Venezuelan businesses. Since merchants can only receive so much necessary foreign currency from the government, they must resort to the black market which in turn raises the merchant’s prices onconsumers.[85] The high rates in the black market make it difficult for businesses to purchase necessary goods since the government often forces these businesses to make price cuts. This leads to businesses selling their goods and making a low profit, such as Venezuelan McDonald’sfranchises offering a Big Mac meal for only $1.[86] Since businesses make low profits, this leads to shortages since they are unable import the goods that Venezuela is reliant on. Venezuela’s largest food producing company, Empresas Polar, has stated that they may need to suspend some production for nearly the entire year of 2014 since they owe foreign suppliers $463 million.[87] The last report of shortages in Venezuela showed that 22.4% of necessary goods are not in stock.[88] This was the last report by the government since the central bank no longer posts the scarcity index. This has led to speculation that the government is hiding it’s inability to control the economy which may create doubt about future economic data released.[89]

    The Venezuelan economy is circling the drain.

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