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January Friday

CELAC Sparks Expectations towards Regional Integration

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 23 (ACN) The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States sparks expectations as it boosts regional integration and projects to face current challenges, said the president of the Cuban Parliament's International Relations Commission, Ramon Pez Ferro.

In statements to PL news agency, Pez Ferro said the block, which groups 33 independent countries, is a an unprecedented coordination platform in the continent.

"For the first time, we have a single mechanism, without exclusions or agendas imposed from outside of this region, since Latin America and the Caribbean used to attend forums along 'foreign forces' which did not share our dreams and interests," said the Cuban parliamentarian.

For Pez Ferro, the CELAC offers a better platform to address issues like climate change, sustainable peace and the fight on poverty from common perspectives and the respect for differing views under challenges such as the capitalist economic crisis.

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States was set up December 2011 in Caracas, Venezuela, with a genuinely regional membership, since it does not include the United States and Canada, two countries with a history and political, social and economic views that differ from the rest of the nations in the continent.

The bloc will hold its First Summit of Heads of State and Government over the weekend in Santiago de Chile, with the adoption of a political declaration and a plan of action for 2013.

"We must feel proud because the CELAC aims at making the dreams of independence and unity of our heroes a reality..." said Pez Ferro, who also stressed that Cuba will take the pro-tempore chair of the bloc during the summit.

Cuba has for decades proven its commitment to regional integration, a stance backed by many countries, which are determined to work based on the concepts of solidarity and complementariness in tune with the increasing search for true independence and sovereignty in today's Latin America, said the lawmaker.

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