Community of Latin American and Caribbean States

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Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
Flag of Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Seal of Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
Map of Central and South America indicating CELAC members.
Map of Central and South America indicating CELAC members.
Official languages
Demonym
  • Latin American
  • Caribbean
Membership 33 member states
Leaders
 -  President pro tempore Cuba Raúl Castro
Establishment 23 February 2010 (2010-02-23)
Area
 -  Total 20,413,300[1] km2 
7,881,619 sq mi 
Population
 -  2011 estimate 591,038,580[1] 
 -  Density 29/km2 
75/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $6.965 trilliona[1] 
 -  Per capita $12,046a[1] 
HDI (2011) 0.711 
Internet TLD .latb

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Spanish Wp→: Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, CELAC; Portuguese Wp→: Comunidade de Estados Latino-Americanos e Caribenhos; French Wp→: Communauté des États Latino-Américains et Caribéens) is a regional bloc of Latin American and Caribbean states thought out on February 23, 2010, at the Rio GroupCaribbean Community Unity Summit,[2][3][4] and created on December, 3, 2011, in Caracas, Venezuela, with the signature of The Declaration of Caracas.[5] It consists of 33 sovereign countries in the Americas representing roughly 600 million people. Absent from the bloc are Canada and the United States, as well as the territories of France, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom in the Americas.[6]

CELAC is an example of a decade-long push for deeper integration within the Americas.[7] CELAC is being created to deepen Latin American integration and to reduce the once overwhelming influence of the United States on the politics and economics of Latin America. It is seen as an alternative to the Organization of American States (OAS), the regional body organised largely by Washington in 1948, ostensibly as a countermeasure to potential Soviet influence in the region.[7][8][9]

CELAC is the successor of the Rio Group and the Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development (CALC).[10] In July 2010, CELAC selected President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez and President of Chile Sebastián Piñera, as co-chairs of the forum to draft statutes for the organization.[11]

Member states

CELAC comprises 33 countries speaking five different languages:

Eighteen Spanish-speaking countries (56% of the area, 63% of the population)

One Portuguese-speaking country (42% of the area, 34% of the population)

One French-speaking country (0.1% of the area, 1.6% of the population)

Twelve English-speaking countries (1.3% of the area, 1.1% of the population)

One Dutch-speaking country (0.8% of the area, 0.1% of the population)

Twelve countries are in South America, which accounts for 87% of the area and 68% of the population.

Rationale

On February 23, 2010, Latin American leaders at the 23rd Rio Group summit in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, said they were forming an organisation of the Latin American and Caribbean states. Once its charter was developed, the group was formally established in July 2011, at a summit in Caracas. The bloc will be the main forum for political dialogue for the area, without the United States or Canada.[12][13]

In an interview in February 2010, President Evo Morales of Bolivia said, "A union of Latin American countries is the weapon against imperialism. It is necessary to create a regional body that excludes the United States and Canada. ...Where there are U.S. military bases that do not respect democracy, where there is a political empire with his blackmailers, with its constraints, there is no development for that country, and especially there is no social peace and, therefore, it is the best time for prime ministers of Latin America and the Caribbean to gestate this great new organization without the United States to free our peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean."[9]

At the 23rd Rio Group summit, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela said, "Now here, in Mexico, a document, a commitment, the creation of a body of Latin America and the Caribbean, without the USA, without Canada (...) Now we can say from Latin America, from Mexico (...) we have revived the dream and project of Bolívar."[14] Mexican President Felipe Calderón added, "We decided, for the first time, to form the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States as a regional space consisting of all states."[15] Calderon said, "We cannot remain disunited; we cannot successfully take on the future based on our differences; now it's up to us to unite without discounting the things that make us different … to unite based on our similarities, which far outweigh our differences."[16] Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said it is "A historic fact of great significance."[17]

President Rafael Correa of Ecuador said that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States "can be much more effective than other instances to solve ourselves, with our own strengths, our own visions, our conflicts."[18]

Reaction

The announcement prompted debate and discussion across Latin America and the Caribbean about whether it's more beneficial to have close ties with U.S. and Canada or to work independently.[19][20]

Raúl Zibechi, writing for Mexico's centre-left La Jornada newspaper said, "The creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States is part of a global and continental shift, characterised by the decline of U.S. hegemony and the rise of a group of regional blocs that form part of the new global balance."[21]

An editorial in Brazil's conservative Estadao newspaper said, "CELAC reflects the disorientation of the region's governments in relation to its problematic environment and its lack of foreign policy direction, locked as it is into the illusion that snubbing the United States will do for Latin American integration what 200 years of history failed to do."[17]

First summit

ESO exhibition area at the CELAC–EU summit in Santiago. [22]

CELAC's inaugural summit was due to be held in mid-2011, but was postponed because of the ill-health of Hugo Chavez, president of the host nation, Venezuela. The summit was instead held on 2 and 3 December 2011 in Caracas.[23] It primarily focused on the global economic crisis and its effects on the region. Several leaders, including presidents Cristina Fernandez, Dilma Rousseff and Juan Manuel Santos, encouraged an increase in regional trade, economic development, and further economic cooperation among members in order to defend their growing economies.[19][20]

Chavez, and other leaders such as Rafael Correa and Daniel Ortega, expressed hope that the bloc would work to further Latin American integration, end U.S. hegemony and consolidate control over regional affairs.[19] Chavez, citing the Monroe Doctrine as the original confirmation of U.S. interference in the region, openly called for CELAC to replace the OAS: "As the years go by, CELAC is going to leave behind the old and worn-out OAS."[20] Correa called for a new human rights commission to replace the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Other leaders argued that the organisation should be used as a tool to resolve regional disagreements and uphold democratic values, but not as a replacement of the OAS.[19][20] Santos stated that he would like to see dialogue within the group over whether existing counter-drug regulations should be revised.[19] The president of the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) said he expects that Parlatino will become the main legislative institution of CELAC.[24] Amongst the key issues on the agenda were the creation of a "new financial architecture," sanction for maintaining the legal status of coca in Bolivia and the rejection of the Cuban embargo by the U.S.[25]

The next two summits are scheduled to be held in Chile in 2013 and Cuba in 2014.[26]

Indicators

The following table shows various data for CELAC member states, including area, population, economic output and income inequality, as well as various indices, including human development, viability of the state, perception of corruption, economic freedom, state of peace, freedom of the press and democratic level.

Country Area[1]
(km²)
2010
Population[1]
2011
GDP (PPP)[1]
(Intl. $)
2011
GDP (PPP)
per capita
[1]
(Intl. $)
2011
Income
inequality
[1]
1992-2010
(latest available)
HDI[27]
2011
FSI[28]
2012
CPI[29]
2011
IEF[30]
2011
GPI[31]
2012
WPFI[32]
2011/2012
DI[33]
2011
 Antigua and Barbuda 440 89,612 1,444,637,074 16,121 N/A 0.764 58.9 N/A N/A N/A N/Ae N/A
 Argentina 2,780,400 40,764,561 720,488,015,222 17,674 44.5 0.797 46.5 3.0 51.7 1.763 14.00 6.84
 Bahamas, The 13,880 347,176 11,178,212,964 32,198 N/A 0.771 55.1 7.3 68.0 N/A N/A N/A
 Barbados

a

430 273,925 5,256,433,085 19,272 N/A 0.793 52.0 7.8 68.5 N/A N/A N/A
 Belize 22,970 356,600 2,397,145,707 6,722 53.1 0.699 67.2 N/A 63.8 N/A N/A N/A
 Bolivia 1,098,580 10,088,108 51,750,820,249 5,130 56.3 0.663 82.1 2.8 50.0 2.021 40.00 5.84
 Brazil 8,514,880 196,655,014 2,304,646,306,422 11,719 54.7 0.718 64.1 3.8 56.3 2.017 35.33 7.12
 Chile 756,090 17,269,525 295,740,683,117 17,125 52.1 0.805 43.5 7.2 77.4 1.616 29.00 7.54
 Colombia 1,141,750 46,927,125 474,113,199,036 10,103 55.9 0.710 84.4 3.4 68.0 2.625 66.50 6.63
 Costa Rica 51,100 4,726,575 57,835,596,322 12,236 50.7 0.744 49.7 4.8 67.3 1.659 -2.25 8.10
 Cuba 109,890 11,253,665 N/A N/A N/A 0.776 73.1 4.2 27.7 1.951 98.83 3.52
 Dominica 750 67,675 858,005,843 12,678 N/A 0.724 N/A 5.2 63.3 N/A N/Ae N/A
 Dominican Republic 48,670 10,056,181 99,186,453,125 9,863 47.2 0.689 74.1 2.6 60.0 2.068 33.25 6.20
 Ecuador 256,370 14,666,055 124,461,955,559 8,486 49.3 0.720 80.1 2.7 47.1 2.028 38.00 5.64
 El Salvador 21,040 6,227,491 42,829,067,551 6,877 48.3 0.674 74.4 3.4 68.8 2.220 9.30 6.47
 Grenada 340 104,890 1,172,713,307 11,180 N/A 0.748 65.0 N/A N/A N/A N/Ae N/A
 Guatemala 108,890 14,757,316 73,215,797,488 4,961 55.9 0.574 79.4 2.7 61.9 2.287 35.00 5.86
 Guyanab 214,970 756,040 2,599,021,004 3,445 44.5 0.633 71.4 2.5 49.4 1.937 19.50 6.05
 Haiti 27,750 10,123,787 11,939,943,534 1,179 59.2 0.454 104.9 1.8 52.1 2.179 15.67 4.00
 Honduras 112,490 7,754,687 31,529,556,199 4,066 57.0 0.625 78.5 2.6 58.6 2.339 61.00 5.84
 Jamaica 10,990 2,709,300 21,850,928,155 8,065 45.5 0.727 65.8 3.3 65.7 2.222 -3.00 7.13
 Mexico 1,964,380 114,793,341 1,760,946,368,455 15,340 48.3 0.770 73.6 3.0 67.8 2.445 72.67 6.93
 Nicaragua 130,370 5,869,859 17,262,578,477 2,941 40.5 0.589 79.6 2.5 58.8 2.006 24.33 5.53
 Panama 75,420 3,571,185 56,051,199,411 15,695 51.9 0.768 56.1 3.3 64.9 1.899 45.67 7.08
 Paraguay 406,750 6,568,290 35,590,399,246 5,419 52.4 0.665 70.9 2.2 62.3 1.973 29.00 6.40
 Peru 1,285,220 29,399,817 303,342,392,898 10,318 48.1 0.725 73.5 3.4 68.6 1.995 51.25 6.59
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 260 53,051 803,946,175 15,154 N/A 0.735 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/Ae N/A
 Saint Lucia 620 176,000 1,651,819,475 9,385 42.6 0.723 N/A 7.0 70.8 N/A N/Ae N/A
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 390 109,365 1,182,417,046 10,812 N/A 0.717 N/A 5.8 66.9 N/A N/Ae N/A
 Surinameb 163,820 529,419 4,140,115,371 7,891 52.9 0.680 71.2 3.0 53.1 N/A -1.00 6.65
Template:Country data Trinidad and Tobago 5,130 1,346,350 34,939,214,276 25,951 40.3 0.760 64.4 3.2 66.5 2.082 15.00 7.16
 Uruguay 176,220 3,368,595 51,139,922,658 15,181 45.3 0.783 40.5 7.0 70.0 1.628 4.25 8.17
 Venezuela 912,050 29,278,000 375,814,687,200 12,836 44.8 0.735 77.3 1.9 37.6 2.278 55.00 5.07
CELACc,d 20,413,300 591,038,580 6,977,359,551,652 12,046 49.6 0.711 68.2 3.9 60.4 2.054 32.76 6.35
Country Area
(km²)
2010
Population
2011
GDP (PPP)
(Intl. $)
2011
GDP (PPP)
per capita

(Intl. $)
2011
Income
inequality

1992-2010
(latest available)
HDI
2011
FSI
2012
CPI
2011
IEF
2011
GPI
2012
WPFI
2011/2012
DI
2011

a GDP data are for 2009.
b GDP data are for 2010.
c CELAC total used for indicators 1 through 3; CELAC weighted average used for indicator 4; CELAC unweighted average used for indicators 5 through 12.
d GDP per capita figure does not include Barbados, Cuba, Guyana or Suriname.
e No country-specific figure is provided. However, a figure of "0.00" is assigned to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, of which this country is a member.

Note: The colors indicate the country's global position in the respective indicator. For example, a green cell indicates that the country is ranked in the upper 25% of the list (including all countries with available data).

Highest fourth
Upper-mid (2nd to 3rd quartile)
Lower-mid (1st to 2nd quartile)
Lowest fourth

Summits

CELAC Summits
Summit Year Host country Host city
I 2011  Venezuela Caracas
II 2013  Chile Santiago

See also

Notes

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 World Development Indicators. World Bank. URL accessed on 2012-07-11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "wdi" defined multiple times with different content
  2. ''Mexidata'' (English) March 1, 2010. Mexidata.info. URL accessed on 2012-05-25.
  3. Acuerdan crear Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, Associated Press, February 23, 2010.
  4. América Latina crea una OEA sin Estados Unidos, El País, February 23, 2010.
  5. L. American leaders officially sign CELAC into effect as new bloc. news.xinhuanet.com. URL accessed on 2013-01-28.
  6. Gooding, Kerri. "IVCC encouraging bilingualism and cultural integration", Advocate Co.. Retrieved on December 26, 2011. “However, at present much of the integration occurs at the governmental, political and policy level as opposed to the personal, individual level, hence Tutor Jamal Henry added his voice to the plea by the Ambassador to have more persons embracing the culture and learning Spanish. CELAC comprises 33 nations making up an estimated population of 600 million people with five official languages. United and integrated the countries of CELAC can be powerful, “together [the 33 nations of CELAC] are the number one food exporter on the planet,” further commented Ambassador Febres.” 
  7. 7.0 7.1 MercoPress, 2010 Feb. 24, "Mexico Gives Birth to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States," http://en.mercopress.com/2010/02/24/mexico-gives-birth-to-the-community-of-latinamerican-and-caribbean-states
  8. New York Times, 2010 Feb. 28, "Quake Overshadows Clinton Tour of Region," http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/01/world/americas/01clinton.html?ref=americas
  9. 9.0 9.1 _ Nuestro Norte es el SUR. Telesurtv.net. URL accessed on 2012-05-25.
  10. Presidentes constituyen la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, EFE, February 23, 2010.
  11. CounterPunch, 3 August 2010, Behind the Colombia / Venezuela Tensions
  12. http://www.indymedia-letzebuerg.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=44165&Itemid=28 Indymedia (English) February 24, 2010
  13. Cancilleres del Grupo de Río avanzaron en idea de crear nueva instancia regional. granma.cu. URL accessed on 2012-05-25.
  14. TeleSURtv.net - Chávez afirma que con nuevo organismo latinoamericano renace el proyecto de Bolívar[dead link]
  15. TeleSURtv.net - Crean nuevo organismo regional en Cumbre de Río[dead link]
  16. Clovis Rossi Latin American Unity Cannot Be Dependent on Excluding the U.S. Folha, Brazil, via translation from WorldMeets.US (English) February 22, 2010.
  17. 17.0 17.1 EDITORIAL In Latin America, Rhetoric Triumphs Over Reality Estadao, Brazil, via translation by WorldMeets.US (English) February 25, 2010.
  18. TeleSURtv.net - Correa confía en la recién creada Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños[dead link]
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 Rueda, Jorge, James, Ian; Toothaker, Christopher. "Leaders at Americas talks: world economy top worry", Hearst Communications Inc., 3 December 2011. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Staff writers. "Venezuela hosts first CELAC summit", 3 December 2011. 
  21. Raúl Zibechi Latin America's Inexorable March Toward 'Autonomy from the Imperial Center' La Jornada, Mexico, via translation by WorldMeets.US (English) February 26, 2010
  22. "ESO exhibition area at the CELAC–EU summit in Santiago". Retrieved on 12 February 2013. 
  23. "Latin American summit re-run to test Chavez health", 30 November 2011. Retrieved on 2 December 2011. 
  24. Staff writers. "Parlatino Interested in Being CELAC Legislative Organization", 2 December 2011. 
  25. Obama in Cartagena: No change, dwindling hope - Opinion. Al Jazeera English. URL accessed on 2012-05-25.
  26. Staff writers. "CELAC Summit Votes for Cuba to Host 3rd Meeting", 2 December 2011. 
  27. Statistics | Human Development Reports (HDR) | United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Hdr.undp.org. URL accessed on 2011-11-17.
  28. Failed States Index Scores 2012. The Fund for Peace. URL accessed on 2012-06-21.
  29. Corruption Perceptions Index: Transparency International. Transparency.org. URL accessed on 2011-12-01.
  30. Country rankings for trade, business, fiscal, monetary, financial, labor and investment freedoms. Heritage.org. URL accessed on 2011-03-04.
  31. Global Peace Index 2012. Vision of Humanity. URL accessed on 2012-06-13.
  32. RSF.org. En.rsf.org. URL accessed on 2012-05-12.
  33. Democracy Index 2011. (PDF) The Economist. URL accessed on 2012-05-14.

External links

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