HAVANA – Foreign ministers of the Association of Caribbean States, or ACS, met on Friday in Havana, the day before the presidential summit, to agree on the challenges facing a region threatened by an “imperialist counteroffensive,” according to Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.
“Independence and social justice in Latin America and the Caribbean are undeniably getting stronger, but they are threatened by an imperialist counteroffensive, the forces of oligarchy and a plan to reestablish neoliberal policies with all their disastrous consequences for our people,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said in his inaugural address.
Friday afternoon the foreign ministers of the countries represented in the Cuban capital were to seek a consensus on the challenges of the future, which will in turn provide the basis for Saturday’s discussion by the presidents of the Caribbean nations, who will then issue the “Declaration of Havana” containing the conclusions reached at the 7th ACS Summit.
“Latin America and the Caribbean, despite the progress made, continue to form the region on the planet with the greatest inequity of wealth distribution. We must deal with these challenges and take joint action by means of consultation, concord and cooperation,” Rodriguez said.
The foreign minister said the summit takes place at a “complex moment” for the region, due to a “systemic global crisis that gets worse and heightens economic inequalities and the effects of climate change, which chiefly affect underdeveloped and insular nations with small economies.”
The head of Cuban diplomacy noted that the ACS Summit will serve to revitalize the association founded four years ago, while establishing “medium- and long-term goals.”
“We have a lot of work to do and we must share the commitment to persist with these efforts to bring development, peace, survival and well-being to our people,” Rodriguez told the other foreign ministers from the region.
Among the foreign ministers in attendance were Maria Angela Holguin of Colombia, Delcy Rodriguez of Venezuela, Claudia Ruiz of Mexico, Raul Morales of Guatemala, Hugo Martinez of El Salvador and Manuel Gonzalez of Costa Rica.