December 17, 2009
Hugo Chavez and the New Southern Axis
Nick Miroff, Global Post
The socialist ALBA summit that ended here Monday can trace its origins to two events that occurred in the same week, exactly 15 years ago, on opposite sides of the Florida Straits.
One took place in Miami. There, in December 1994, leaders from 34 countries met for the first Summit of the Americas. European communism had collapsed a few years earlier, and trade barriers were falling around the world. Eager to hasten that process in the region, U.S. officials laid out plans for the Free Trade Area of the Americas, or FTAA.
Cuba was the only country in the region not present at those meetings. Its leader, Fidel Castro, had stayed home in Havana, and a few days later, he received a visit from a former Venezuelan army paratrooper who had been released from jail after a failed...
TAGGED: Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, Evo Morales, Cuba, Fidel Castro, Bolivia, Venezuela, Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), Latin America, Hugo Chavez