ALBA and the Fragmentation of CARICOM

Has ALBA helped or harmed CARICOM?

In 2005, the leftist government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez launched the Bolivarian Alliances for the Americas (ALBA) in Cuba, the western Hemisphere‟s only communist nation. ALBA, an international cooperation organization based on the idea of social, political, and economic integration between the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean was launched as a counterweight to the Free Trade Areas of the America (FTAA) proposed by the United States of America. It exposed the ideological rift between the United States and the increasingly powerful Venezuela and the battle for dominance of the geopolitical space. Washington, which had ignored the Caribbean and Latin America as it fought wars in the Middle East, wrote letters to the member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), encouraging them not to join‟s Chavez‟s regime. Three of CARICOM‟s 15 full-members have since joined ALBA. This paper discusses the factors that might have contributed to the decision by these three nations to join ALBA even as others did not. Click to read paper.

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