HAVANA – The Association of Caribbean States will seek to continue the revitalization process begun three years ago at its seventh summit, to take place in Havana from June 2-4, Cuban Foreign Ministry officials announced Tuesday.
At the meeting, representatives of the 25 ACS member states – along with seven associated nations, eight observer organizations and other invited guests – will debate ways to increase trade and investments in the region and will seek new strategies to promote tourism and environmental protection.
Cuba is presiding over the organization until 2017 and its director for Latin America and the Caribbean within the Foreign Ministry, Manuel Aguilera, told reporters Tuesday that Havana is proposing to strengthen the work of the ACS not only as a “cooperative entity” but also to emphasize its status as a “mechanism for consultation and political agreement” in the region.
“We cannot remain indifferent to the current complex situation in Latin America and the Caribbean as a consequence of the oligarchic counteroffensive, with support of the empire and its foreign allies, against the popular and progressive governments that arose after the failure of neoliberalism in the region,” said Aguilera, referring to the United States as the “empire.”
The crisis being experienced by the allied governments of Cuba, Brazil and Venezuela is, according to authorities on the communist island, “a threat to the peace and stability that are indispensable for (regional) integration.”
The summit will kick off on June 2 with an introductory meeting of top officials from the member nations and invited guests, followed the next day by a meeting of the Council of Ministers of the organization, founded in 1994.
On the final day, June 4, the ACS heads of state will meet and it is expected that they will approve a joint declaration and action plan through 2018 as well as selecting a new general secretary, who will assume his or her post next August.