Publicado el 01-17-2013
Raúl Castro Will Preside Over CELAC for a Year
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will hand over the presidency of the organization to Cuba’s “President”, Raúl Castro, during the summit that will be held in Havana at the end of this month of January.
CELAC, with thirty-three member countries in the region, was created on February 2010 during the Caribbean Community Unity Summit in Playa del Carmen, México, when thirty-three heads of government attending that summit decided to form CELAC as a “their own regional space that joins all the states.” The process climaxed with the official inception of the organization during its first summit held in Caracas on December 2 and 3, 2011. Its second summit was held in Chile in 2012, and the third one will be this one in Havana. The organization was created with the main objective of working without the influence of the United States and Canada to solve the problems of a region of some 600 million people and a territorial extension of more than twenty million square kilometers. The organization has no central headquarters or permanent personnel, and is governed by a rotating presidency in charge of the country chosen to lead it for a period of twelve months. In 2014 the presidency will go to Costa Rica.
However, since it represents the governments of thirty-three countries, the organization participates in political and commercial negotiations with the countries of the European Union. When Raúl Castro takes over CELAC’s presidency, the Cuban dictator will achieve, at least temporarily, a certain international stature, although in Cuba, for more than fifty years there has been no respect for human rights, free elections, or freedom of expression.
All this is a symptom of the regional changes that began with the dictatorship of the Castro brothers in 1959 and that reached their highest point with the Bolivarian Revolution of Hugo Chávez who, with his petrodollars, has intervened in the elections of many countries in South and Central America, changing the political panorama of the region. And all this has been done with in full view and with the tolerance of the Organization of American States (OAS), the oldest regional organization in the world whose disappearance is one of the specific goals of CELAC and other new “Bolivarian” organizations.