CARACAS – President Nicolas Maduro used his participation at the 55th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution to announce details of Venezuela’s delegation to the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to be held in Havana beginning January 25.
CELAC was designed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban President Fidel Castro to be an alternative to the Organization of American States, where Cuba is not represented because it doesn’t meet the democratic credentials.
CELAC has 33 member countries, but does not include the U.S. and Canada. In addition, it does not include any territories or island territories of France, the United Kingdom, Holland, Denmark or the U.S.
In a break with that tradition, Maduro announced that they would propose incorporating Puerto Rico, while at the same time calling for Puerto Rican independence.
“I have told to Foreign Minister Elias Jaua to prepare a special document, because the delegation of Venezuela will propose the incorporation of Puerto Rico into the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States,” said Maduro. “May Puerto Rico take the path of Latin America. Sooner than later we will see the independence of Puerto Rico! Long live a free Puerto Rico.”
At the same time, Maduro also used the opportunity to announce a new Cuba-Venezuela joint committee to deal with new cooperation projects between the two nations.
The committee, the 14th one, will be chaired by the Vice President for Economic Area and Minister of People’s Power for Energy and Petroleum, Rafael Ramirez.
The Cuba-Venezuela committee will address issues in economic, scientific, cultural, technological and energy scopes, which will be agreed at the next Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to be held in Havana in late January.
“The great historical challenge to consolidate the union of America, and to consolidate this new stage of independence is in the field of economics.”
The President said that Cuba is currently a nation of great prestige, which has allowed it to preside over the CELAC as a result of this international acknowledgement.
He also manifested his rejection to the economic blockade of which the island has been a victim since 50 years ago.
“Sooner or later we will see the day when the economic blockade collapses and Cuba, with its dignity, will transit the rest of the 21st century without persecution, without the imperial economic war. So it will be.”