Representatives of various Latin American countries gave a panel on the "solidary integration" initiatives underway in the region. During the event, which is part of the American edition of the 6th World Social Forum, they also discussed the challenges facing Latin American countries in the future.
Marco Aurélio Garcia, Brazil’s special presidential adviser on international affairs, listed the integration initiatives currently underway in the area of infrastructure.
In his view, integration lacked concreteness for a long time, because there were no highways, bridges, ports, or even air routes to foster effective contact among the countries.
A new phase of integration will be inaugurated with the creation of a Southern Bank, among other initiatives in the area of financial coordination, he affirms.
As examples of solidary integration initiatives, Ricardo Alarcón, president of the Cuban National Assembly of People’s Power, pointed to his country’s partnerships with Venezuela to promote the erradication of illiteracy in Venezuela and to carry out the Miracle Missions, in which Cuban doctors perform free operations on visually impaired poor people.
According to Alarcón, 1.5 million Venezuelans were taught to read and write, and 150 thousand opthalmological operations were performed.
For admiral Cabrera Aguirre, of the Bolivarian Civic-Military Front of Venezuela, the countries of the region must encourage the population to unite around territorial defense through cooperation between civilian and military personnel.
He cited his own country, where the front to which he belongs is incorporating 1.6 thousand doctors into the reserve forces, as well as creating the so-called "territorial guards," in which civilians cooperate in the execution of defense tasks.
The secretary-general of the Latin American Parliament, Rafael Correa Flores, from Venezuela, spoke about initiatives that are being discussed in this body, such as a project for a Latin American Constitution and an Inter-American Social Charter, which, according to Flores, is being negotiated in the Organization of American States (OAS). He also called for discussions on a hemispheric regional security agenda.
The "Solidary Integration: Paths for Latin American Development" conference was organized by the Mauricio Grabois Institute, the Perseu Abramo Foundation from Brazil, and the Bolivarian Civic-Military Front of Venezuela.