Toward a Latin American Community

From Mirada Global:

Our Latin America and the Caribbean appears with extraordinary strength for the creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), another —decisive— small step on the road of integration and unity, of the rising regional sovereignty. Today we can be proud of our progress. We are also aware that the United States will probably try to sabotage this experience, just like it did with the Amphictyonic Congress of Panama in 1826.


To speak about this Community means assuming regional sovereignty, dropping U.S. and Canada’s “protectionism”, aware that the old prescriptions imposed on us 500 years ago only brought pain and sorrow to most people. Social exclusion and poverty, while the central countries kept our natural resources.

Welcome CELAC, this decision to unite and seek for common answers, even though all the governments of the region are not ruled by the same ideology, and there are some who would like to continue to depend on the empire.

The establishment of a scheme of political, social, cultural and economic integration implies the creation of sovereign mechanisms of self-determination in the use of raw materials and natural resources —we are the largest water reservoir in the world—which would have direct influence in the reversion of the control and command that the U.S. still has over our territories.

We start to look at ourselves with our own eyes and not, as we have done for a little over five centuries, with foreign eyes. Looking at ourselves with our own eyes implies recovering our memory and trying to satisfy the needs of our own fellow countrymen before complying with the demands of international organizations. A people who don’t know there it comes from cannot know where it is heading to, and therefore, the road was always imposed from abroad.

Read the rest here. Also available in Spanish.

Tim Reidy


Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Gabriel Marcella
7 years ago
America is to be commended for lighting an occasional candle for Latin America, a region which deserves a lot more coverage in the Catholic media of the United States. However, this piece does not reflect the fine scholarship of Jesuit journals in Latin America, such as Chile's revered Mensaje. Moreoveor, its contents amount to warmed over victimization theory with a heavy dose of anti-Americanism. This is old and discredited stuff that does not help understanding the tough social, economic, political, and public security challenges that Latin Americans face, and the need to for cooperation rather than confrontation.

Those that promote CELAC (leaders in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia), that would exclude the United States and Canada, and replace the Organzation of American States, are working against certain realities. In the era of globalization we should be promoting inclusion rather than exclusion. According to the 2010 census, over 50 million Americans are Hispanic, making us the second largest Hispanic nation in the wrold. The futures of North and South in the Americas are deeply intertwined. We should take advantage of the emerging cultural and economic integration by seeking common approaches to create a better life for the people of the Americas. CELAC has received a well deserved cold shoulder from most capitals in Latin America.


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