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St. Kitts and Nevis to join ALBA

This move was announced this week by the country’s Prime Minister, Dr. Denzil Douglas.

Since 2009, the Government had been hinting at its interest in the grouping and in June of that year, Dr. Douglas had stated that his administration was likely to join the body but it was still being considered.

With the logistics apparently ironed out, St. Kitts and Nevis has now joined fellow OECS countries such as Dominica, Antigua, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Grenada, which too this week indicated that it has decided to join the body.

It is the position of the government here that ALBA provides many opportunities that could accrue to the twin-island nation.

The organization is said to be keenly interested in the promotion of political, social and economic integration amongst the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The organization was founded by the late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.

Those OECS countries that are members are of the view that their membership would greatly enhance their chances of accessing resources that are not readily available to them on an individual country basis.

They have also rejected the notion that ALBA is simply an alliance pushing a particular ideological philosophy to counter the influence of bigger and more powerful Western Hemisphere nations, such as the United States.

Some in the West have however criticized the movement and one BBC report a few years ago had this to say, “In essence… Alba consists of one oil-rich nation and various minnows wishing to benefit from its largesse. Not the most promising basis for a new economic superpower, you might think.”

When Chavez died in March, 2013, there was some concern that the movement would also see its last days but the new Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, committed to fulfill the ambitions of the organization.

Maduro once stated that Alba’s aim was to join forces not only with Petrocaribe but also with the Caribbean common market, Caricom, and the South American trade alliance, Mercosur.

He said this would produce “a common economic zone of shared development”, said the BBC report.


 

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