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Friday, April 3, 2009
Nicaraguan President: Latin America Is Living a New Stage
Havana, Apr 3.- Upon arriving to Cuba Thursday afternoon, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega spoke about the political changes taking place in Latin America and the Caribbean.
He said that the region is going through a new historical process, “Latin America has said enough is enough and is beginning to move forward."
The president of Nicaragua spoke about the Bolivarian Alternative for The Americas (ALBA) calling it a new concept of political, economic and commercial relations based on the respect for self-determination and sovereignty.
He added that the ALBA is a cooperation framework that prioritizes solidarity and complementation in fair trade. Currently the ALBA is made up of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica and Honduras.
Ortega criticized the European Union’s attempts to impose political conditions, ignore asymmetries between countries in the region, and demand of an absolute commercial opening for its products in an association accord currently being negotiated.
He pointed out that the European Union is reluctant to accept a development fund for Central American nations and is taking a harder position than those negotiated in Free Trade Agreements with the United States. "They want an opening for their products, but at the same time establish limits and barriers on our products."
After clarifying that Nicaragua has not withdrawn from negotiations, Ortega said that if the European Union’s demands are accepted, the fragile Central American economies will face a very difficult situation.
Ortega also sent greetings to Cuban leader Fidel Castro, President Raul Castro, and the Cuban people. He said he felt honored to be once again in this heroic country, the homeland of Cuban National Hero Jose Marti.
President Ortega said that during his visit he will meet with Cuban President Raul Castro.
Ortega was received at Havana’s José Marti International Airport by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez and other government officials. (ACN)