Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC

Very rarely does the United States get left out of any group, especially one including every country in its hemisphere save its North American neighbor, Canada. But, excluded have both countries been from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. CELAC, an acronym from the community's Spanish name, started in 2011, in an endeavor to achieve greater integration within the Americas and act as an equalizing force against the might of the U.S.


On the 26th of January, leaders from the community's member nations, including Haiti's Michel Martelly, Evo Morales from Bolivia, Argentina's Cristina Fernandez and Brazil's Dilma Rousseff, met to discuss the regional challenges of inequality and poverty at a summit held in Cuba. Pre-meetings between officials of the lower level took place earlier over the weekend, with foreign ministers taking the fore on Monday, January 27.

Bolivia's Morales said that the summit will bring out those social policies needed for the liberation of the region's people, serving the dual purpose of facilitating discussions on migration and trade. Still, while these summits of the community are symbolic--the agendas discussed only implemented at the will of the member states--the involvement of nations such as Colombia, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela show that there remains a drive to find alternate integration processes.

CELAC hasn't yet solved any of the burning regional issues; however, awareness has spread to include the attendance of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the secretary-general of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza. The recent summit was the first following the death of CELAC's greatest advocate, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

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