During the XVIII summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA-TCP) the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, proposed that Cuba and Venezuela take responsibility for a bank of vaccines against the coronavirus, so that they can be in charge of carrying out the coordination of the mass vaccination plan in all ALBA-TCP countries.
“ALBA must guarantee, through the ALBA Bank, the financing of the entire mass vaccination process of the member countries’ entire population. It’s necessary to continue financing the diagnostic tests, and that there be no lack of PCR tests for anyone, nor medicine kits for the treatment of patients: asymptomatic, mild, moderate and severely symptomatic,” he said.
He explained that Cuba has four vaccines at the service of ALBA-TCP. In addition, the nations have vaccines from China and Russia. For this reason, Maduro said: “I invite the leaders of the ALBA-TCP member countries to continue financing the diagnostic tests and vaccines to combat COVID-19. The four vaccines from Cuba are going very well and there are vaccines in the world. Sputnik V achieved 91% efficiency, and in severe cases 100%. Today mass vaccination began in the United States,” said Maduro.
President Maduro referred to the challenge of facing, controlling and defeating the coronavirus pandemic, and continuing to work for the economic recovery of Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The challenge of the vaccine and vaccination, preventive and curative treatments, the control of this pandemic in the ALBA territory in cooperation with Latin America, the Caribbean and brothers of the world,” said the Head of State, during a virtual summit with the presidents and prime ministers of ALBA member states.
“The economic blow of the pandemic has presented a great challenge, economic recovery with a shared effort,” he said. Maduro also recalled that in the economic field, the reactivation of PetroCaribe was not achieved in this difficult year 2020.
“The second challenge is economic recovery, after our economies have suffered devastating sanctions by the US empire, as well as the devastation of the coup in Bolivia a year ago,” he recalled. ALBA-TCP welcomed the delegation of the Bolivian government, headed by its new president, Luis Arce , who was once again joining the bloc after defeating the Jeanine Áñez dictatorship through the electoral process. Arce said: “Strengthening ALBA-TCP is not an option but an urgent necessity,” evidencing the level of commitment that Bolivia brings to the regional alliance.
Accompanied by Executive Vice President Delcy Rodríguez, and the President of PDVSA, Asdrúbal Chávez, Maduro ratified Venezuela’s commitment for 2021, with the repositioning and new productive expansion of PetroCaribe.
“We have as proposals the reactivation of the Economic Council of ALBA, of our currency the SUCRE, the activation of cryptocurrencies in the commercial and internal world of the countries, and the strengthening of the Bank of ALBA that has been fulfilling the roles of aiding and financing our member states.”
In addition, as part of these tasks, Maduro confirmed the strengthening of the political struggle of the peoples of ALBA, consolidating democratic and popular political models.
President Maduro urged senior government officials to place the agenda of the Bolivarian bloc at the same level as the national agenda of each member country.
He forcefully stated that the Bolivarian Alliance allows the guarantee of human rights, culture, the economy that generates wealth, the expansion of ties that guarantee energy security and the right to a path of their own that the independence liberators bequeathed 200 years ago.
“The path that Fidel and Chávez traced, on a day like today 16 years ago (when the original ALBA agreement was signed), the path of dignity and setting an example,” he said, noting that in the United Nations the Bolivarian Alliance is the focus of debate on fundamental issues, as well as in the Human Rights Council, and in scenarios to combat climate change.
He also proposed a permanent consultation process on the post-pandemic work plan approved today at the Summit.
On the other hand, the president announced that the appointment of Sacha Llorenti, Bolivian ambassador, as the new Secretary General of ALBA-TCP, was unanimously approved.
He asked the political council to take important steps to expand ALBA-TCP to achieve its highest potential.
Featured image: Photo courtesy of Prensa Presidencial.