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Latin American and Caribbean bloc to be created without US

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-23

Latin American and Caribbean nations have agreed to create a new regional alliance, without the United States and Canada, at a summit, in Cancun, Mexico. It is a historic move promoted by regional heavyweights Brazil and Mexico.

AFP - Latin American and Caribbean nations have agreed to create a new regional alliance, without the United States and Canada, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said at a summit on Tuesday.

The bloc "must as a priority push for regional integration... and promote the regional agenda in global meetings," Calderon told participants from 32 nations, including 24 leaders, at the beach resort of Cancun.

The new grouping was expected to serve as an alternative to the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes the North American neighbors and has been the main forum for regional affairs in the past half-century.

It was a move away from the traditional influence of the United States in the region, and was promoted by regional heavyweights Brazil and Mexico.

Cuban President Raul Castro was one of the first to laud the announcement, during a final summit session broadcast live on television, as a historic move toward "the constitution of a purely Latin American and Caribbean regional organization."

US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela said Monday in Washington that the United States did not see the new grouping as a problem.

"Replacing the OAS? I don't think most of the countries are on that at all," Valenzuela told journalists at an event in Washington.

"This should not be an effort that would replace the OAS," he added.
 

Date created : 2010-02-23

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