ALBA leaders voice support for ousted Honduran president, oppose U.S. military base in L. America

13:56, October 19, 2009      

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The seventh Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) summit concluded on Saturday in Cochabamba, Bolivia, with resolute support for ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya and opposition to U.S. military bases in Latin America, according to reports from La Paz.

According to a statement reached at the summit, the leaders and representatives from nine participating countries called for the reinstatement of Zelaya, and asserted that they would reject any government elected by the presidential election next month.

The statement added that no election held under the coup-installed government nor the authorities that emerge from it will be recognized by the international community.

The statement said the U.S military bases in Latin America and the Caribbean raised suspicion among people in the region, calling it a threat to regional peace and democracy.

Latin America and the Caribbean were a peaceful region and would not allow foreign military forces and bases to exist, it added.

During the two-day summit, an agreement was achieved among the nine countries on the creation of the Single System of Regional Compensation (SUCRE), a single regional currency that would be used in commercial exchanges among the ALBA countries from next year in order to reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar gradually.

The summit also decided that the next ALBA summit be held in Cuba in December.

The nine-nation ALBA bloc consists of Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominica, Saint Vincent, Antigua and Barbuda.

Presidents of Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, ousted Honduran Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas and high-level representatives from the other countries attended the summit.

The ALBA replaced the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas in June 2009.

The ALBA, initially proposed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chaves in 2001, aims to promote economic and trade cooperation and integration between the countries of Latin America and Caribbean and counter the establishment of the Free Trade Zone of America proposed by the United States.

Source: Xinhua
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