jueves, enero 13, 2005
An alternative to the FTAA?
ALBA is a proposal for closer economic integration of Latin America and the Caribbean. But unlike the FTAA and other US-driven "free trade" negotiations, ALBA is supposed to be based on the principles of justice, equality, and solidarity, focused on elimination of poverty, endogenous development, food self-sufficiency, and opposed to privatization, deregulation, and the current interpretation of intellectual property rights. Will it live up to this? Will it ever get a chance to try?
Maybe so... Last winter saw the emergence of ALBA's principle as a framework for negotiations, with the December 2003 trade agreement between two major Latin American trade communities: the Community of Andean Nations (which includes Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia) and Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay).
A few months later, Argentina & Venezuela signed agreements that marked the beginning of Petrosur, a joint South American oil company, as well as cooperation between television stations. The latest step has been in the recent Venezuela-Cuba accords, in which the two countries committed to follow the principles of ALBA in future negotiations.
All this is very exciting -- it seems like the next step in not just opposing corporate globalization while chanting "another world is possible," but moving forward with a new style of globalization that builds power to challenge the current model. I still don't know that much about ALBA though. If you've got any good articles, send 'em my way...
Venezuelanalysis' summary of the ALBA (Jan 2004); see also the full article