HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 25 (ACN) Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez said he was confident in the usefulness of the First Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the European Union, to take place Sunday in Santiago de Chile.
Europe and Latin America have quite different views; however, the summit is useful for a closer approach, said Bruno Rodriguez in statements to Telesur TV on Friday.
The so-called Old Continent, currently under a strong economic crisis, needs Latin America, Rodriguez stressed.
After having implemented neoliberal recipes, with political systems in crisis, austerity measures that affect immigrants, particularly Latin Americans, Europe needs a stronger relation with us, he said.
The Cuban foreign minister said that in the past, Europe had already called for a more egalitarian relationship to Latin America, a proposal that was not achieved.
Europe is now proposing a strategic bilateral alliance for sustainable development, said Rodriguez, who expressed his wish that advancement is made this time.
He recalled that Latin America and the Caribbean have changed over the past ten years and this region is no longer a colony, while he stressed the importance of achieving unity amidst the ongoing process of changes, in which the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States stands as a main pillar.
Without the CELAC, Latin America and the Caribbean would have attended international forums in 2012 in a very precarious situation, said Rodriguez who believes that 2012 has been a year of creation, while the development of the regional bloc should continue to go.
The CELAC finds its roots in regional solidarity and it is inspired by other principles, such as the respect for diversity, sovereignty over natural resources, international law, in keeping peace and struggling for nuclear disarmament and abstaining from using force.
Rodriguez said the ongoing update of the Cuban economic model is going fine and he described it as a democratic initiative marked by the participation of all the people of Cuba.
The heads of state and government of 33 Latin American and Caribbean nations are meeting in Santiago de Chile with the leaders of 27 European Union countries.
Following the close on Sunday of the CELAC-EU forum, the First Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States will open sessions until Monday.
Cuba will take on the chair of the community in 2013.