ALBA approves new economic bloc despite Gonsalves’ reservation

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, left, and other CARICOM leader at the ALBA summit (Internet photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, Cuba’s Raul Castro and the leaders of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua sat stony-faced in Caracas Saturday night as Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves appeared to depart from the general thrust of a discussion about a single economic space within ALBA.

According to the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), Gonsalves asked for more detailed work before the eight-nation Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) formed a new economic area.

But despite the reservation of Gonsalves, who Chavez described as “ALBA’s lawyer”, the grouping later that night approved ECOALBA, a new economic integration system for the bloc.

ECOALBA, is being pitched as an alternative to trade and economic links dominated by the United States and the U.S. Dollar and emphasises bartering and payments among ALBA members through the Sucre — a virtual currency.

Gonsalves, speaking ahead of the approval of ECOALBA, said that the proposal for creating a “single economic space” was a “possible way forward” but “not the only way forward” through “a dangerous phase” of the world economy.

He was at the time speaking at the 11th summit of the eight-year-old ALBA, whose formation was inspired by Chavez.

Gonsalves told ALBA leaders that he was not speaking on behalf of his Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) counterparts Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda’s Baldwin Spencer.

He, however, said that the proposal for an ALBA economic area required a “significant juridical framework” that needed to take into account other regional economic and monetary arrangements, including the newly-formed OECS economic union and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market — CSME.

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez -- in black -- at the ALBA summit (Internet photo).

Chavez later acknowledged the complex legal issues facing the body but pressed the need for political will to overcome any bureaucratic obstacles the economic area might present.

Gonsalves said he welcomed the ALBA proposal’s “excellent provisions” for “special and differential treatment” — a reference to concessionary support for small, open economies such as those in the Eastern Caribbean.

“The world economy has entered a dangerous phase,” said Gonsalves quoting the International Monetary Fund’s world economic outlook report.

But he also noted that three Eastern Caribbean Currency Union members – Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and St Kitts and Nevis – were involved in “structural adjustment” programmes of a “schizophrenic” IMF that at once proposed both “stimulus and austerity,” according to the CMC report.

Meanwhile, according to other media reports, the ALBA summit ended on Sunday with the approval of the accession of Suriname and St. Lucia, and the confirmation of Haiti as an observer.

The ALBA leaders signed on Saturday a declaration to back Argentina in its dispute with Great Britain over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas Islands) and at the closing session adopted a statement to support the Syrian government against “the interference” of foreign powers.

On Saturday, China and Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution backing an Arab League call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up power and start a political transition.

The veto came as Syrian forces continue to bombard Homs, the city that has become a centre of armed opposition to al-Assad.

Also at the conclusion of the ALBA meeting, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales proposed the creation of an ALBA Defence Council to establish a new doctrine for the armed forces, “to make the military serve the interests of the peoples rather than the (U.S.) empire’s,” according to media reports.

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11 thoughts on “ALBA approves new economic bloc despite Gonsalves’ reservation

  1. “The ALBA leaders ………at the closing session adopted a statement to support the Syrian government against “the interference” of foreign powers”.

    What does this mean? I do not see foreigners being killed in Syria. What I see is the Syrian Government killing its own people. These AlLBA leaders should be shot with “sh*t. They are a bunch of wicked Nimcompoops. ..Supporting the Syrian Government against “the interference” of foreing powers ….” What the hell is this? SVG is part of a pack of “political askes” manufacturing excuses for Syria to commit genocide. Might as well we sign an agreement to say what “Hitler” did was a justified. May God help us!

    Posted by Olbap | February 7, 2012, 14:58
  2. Pop goes the weasel. Well what did I tell you, when Gonsalves signed the agreement with ALBA it said that the ALBA members would eventually become one, not in those exact words but with the same meaning, I have a copy of the agreement but can’t find it at the moment. Gonsalves has never shown the Vincentian people that agreement. He entered into the ALBA agreement without asking the Vincentian people, without declaring the contract content. I believe the contract to be unconstituional and ask what the Governor General knows about the agreement. Should we of had a referendum to allow the people to say yes or no to such an agreement. Was the signing of the ALBA agreement a traitorous act?

    ALBA is a Marxist communist pact.

    What about the ALBA army?
    What about the ALBA military school that opened last year, has any Vincentian attended any course there?
    Gonsalves has now approved ECOALBA, the new economic integration system for the ALBA bloc.

    We are gradually being led to the slaughter.

    You see how we are now a crap state, just like Venezuela and Cuba and all those scum nations that ALBA consists of.

    See how we are now drawn into supporting Syria in slaughtering its people. We take money from all sorts of rubbish states, just for financial help with the airport, in return we vote at the UN, to protect them against the truth, to allow them to continue slaughtering their people.

    See how we are now being put against Britain in the Falklands dispute. The Falklands were part of a legal treaty between Spain and Britain, they were bestowed on the British a couple of hundred years ago. The Falkland people have had three referendums asking would they prefer to be independent, part of Argentina or Part of Britain. They chose to remain a British protectorate.
    They are located over 250 nautical miles (460 km; 290 mi) East of the coast of mainland South America. The islands are not in the territorial waters of Argentina nor in the 200 mile economic zone, there is no legal basis for their claim to the islands.
    The islands are a self-governing British Overseas Territory, with the United Kingdom responsible for its defence and foreign affairs.
    Now that possible underwater oil fields have been identified, the Argentinians supported by the ALBA states want to take it again.
    The Falklands are not owned by the British, they the people want to remain their own rulers, they do not want to be part of Argentinia.


    We must insist the the agreement is made public and it should be tested to see if Gonsalves should be prosecuted for entering into such a contract..

    By the way he was the only pratt in a red shirt, it was the only thing that fits him.


    Posted by Peter | February 7, 2012, 19:33
  3. By the way Goneslaves did you wear the stockings?

    Posted by Peter | February 7, 2012, 20:25
  4. As the Leader of a Sovereign State already engaged in the juridical strictures of the OECS under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and for matters of Treaty interpretation the CCJ and as well under the Privy Council and the manner of our law i.e. English Common Law the PM was CORRECT in expressing reservation about acceding further to the ECOALBA with partners who are of a different jurisprudential makeup.

    No harm in that….Keep Calm and Carry on Comrade

    Posted by Marcus Soares | February 8, 2012, 09:10
    • Marcus Soares you are a very funny guy. Kindly answer these questions for readers: What does expressing reservation on ECOALBA means? Does it mean that Gonsolves( SVG) will not be part of ECOALBA? Or does it means that depite Gonsolves reservation he has to go along with that the other ALBA members have decided? If Gonsolves is right, but had to comply with the decision of the majority on this ECOALBA thing, what is the overall impact of his reservation? Does it makes any difference now whether he had reservation or not? Where does this leave us here in SVG? Will ECOALBA cause us harn or not? “Keep calm and carry on Comarade” you said. What do you mean by that? What is Gonsolve suppose to carry on with? I am confused.

      Posted by Olbap | February 8, 2012, 10:32
  5. I read it as Goneslaves at the end of the day signed the treaty or contract in harmony with all the other ALBA members, any comments he made therefore mean absolutely nothing.



    Posted by Peter | February 8, 2012, 13:41
  6. To Peter: I have always doubted your honesty and conscience, having read your posts. Please now explain to us how Chavez was able to attend this ALBA meeting when, according to you, he is in a hospital at the brink of death.

    Posted by HONESTY | February 8, 2012, 17:11
  7. HONESTY, stop being dishonest, everyone knows he was dragged in on a skate board. Silly billy!

    I never said he was too ill to attend a meeting, doctors said he had between 9 and 12 months to live.

    You can buy his exercise routine on line, if you need the website reference let me know.

    By the way look at Goneslaves, he looks terrible in the photo, isnt that great. I am not sure if his red eyes are a reflection of his shirt, or if he has been crying again.

    I just hope he was wearing his stocking on the flight.

    Posted by Peter | February 8, 2012, 20:45
  8. And my dishonest honstific friend, at no time did I ever say Chavez was in hospital. Unless that is, I said it on the day I forgot to take my pills.

    Sorry meant stockings, not stocking. When hes not travelling may I suggest he wears one over his head, among other things it may stop the refection from his red pratt style shirt.

    Posted by Peter | February 8, 2012, 20:52
  9. OLBAP, we are already saying Hitler didn’t kill the Jews. Just by being in some kind of political partnersip with Iran, Amahdinajad says it didn’t happen and if it did thats ok with him.

    We take money from Iran for the Argyle airport project. Hundreds of Christians are in prison in Iran, they are tortured, beaten, raped, mudered and executed by the state. What did the do wrong to deserve such treatment? they worship God through his Son Jesus, they are Christians that is the only alleged crime. At the United Nations on a fairly frequent basis the Iranians are taken to task for their human rights abuses. SVG votes for them, with them or supports them by abstaining from votes against them. That makes the money that we take from them dirty money, blood money, in taking this money we are supporting Irans policy against Christians. That is why there is a curse on the airport and it now becoming known as the Christian Blood Airport [CBA].

    Those who put their money into the airport for it to be mingled with Christian blood money are also cursed.

    Posted by Peter | February 20, 2012, 07:51
  10. Did any of you know about this?

    May 31 2011, Santa Cruz, Bolivia: ALBA Military School;
    Bolivia’s president Evo Morales inaugurated the ALBA Military School to train soldiers from ALBA bloc countries. Military officials from all the ALBA countries were also present for the inauguration ceremony in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz.
    Addressing military officials, Morales called for unity in the face of the “imperial power,” a reference to the United States.
    “Because of this, it is imperative that we unite to defend ourselves and integrate in order to be stronger. We need to prepare ourselves in order to defend our people and our natural resources,” he added.

    Does anyone know which SVG personnel attended the ALBA military school. Can you post it somewhere. Is our involvment constitutional?

    Posted by Peter | February 25, 2012, 21:56

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