MEXICO CITY – In his first international trip as president-elect of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez discussed the need to resume the work of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), created during the Lula administration of Brazil.
The resumption of CELAC could be a strategy to counteract the resurgence of the prominent role of the Organization of American States (OAS), as well as limiting the action of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).
“I am determined to unite Latin America again so that we can once again reconcile forces to address the challenges of globalization,” Fernandez told a news conference after meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Next year, Mexico takes over the presidency of CELAC, a regional body created in 2010, when left-wing governments led much of Latin America.
CELAC is the first organization to bring together Latin American and Caribbean states without the participation of the US and Canada. The organization held conferences with extra-regional partners, such as the CELAC-China and CELAC-European Union Summits.
“This is an opportunity to revitalize one of the bodies, one of the spaces of integration that has been forgotten lately, ” Argentina’s president-elect said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs deputy Mexico, Maximiliano Reyes, expressed support for Fernandez proposed in the local newspaper La Jornada:
“Mexico and Argentina are facing the opportunity to promote a repositioning of Latin America in the world.”
Latin American Integration Projects
After years of significant strengthening, Latin American integration projects have suffered setbacks recently.
The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), created in 2008 and the first to have a regional Defense Council, has not been able to overcome internal controversies over the Venezuelan issue.
In March of this year, the Ecuadorian government led by Lenin Moreno even requested back the organization’s headquarters building in Quito.
The MERCOSUR regional bloc, which brings together Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, despite continuing to operate normally, has blocked Venezuela’s participation and is reluctant to finalize Bolivia’s accession to the bloc.
On the other hand, regional free trade agreements such as the Pacific Alliance, which brings together Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, advanced, for example, with Costa Rica’s accession in 2013.