On Tuesday, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez inaugurated the 7th meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Buenos Aires, where he called on countries to raise their voices against the U.S. blockades to Cuba and Venezuela.
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His speech began by taking stock of the previous year, a period in which Argentina held the CELAC pro-tempore presidency.
"During this time, I took care of demanding respect for all our nations. I went to the Americas Summit and carried the voice of Latin America demanding an end to the blockades against Latin American countries that still suffer from them," he said.
"Blockades are a very perverse method of sanction, which affects not the governments but the peoples. That is why we cannot continue to allow them. Cuba has suffered a blockade for over six decades, and that is inexcusable, Fernandez pointed out
"Venezuela suffers another one, and we have to raise our voice. We also have to work to guarantee and strengthen our regional institutional framework."
After recalling that wars condemn people to starvation, the Argentine president pointed out that Latin America can have an "overwhelming force" if its countries stop remaining isolated from each other.
"The time has come to make Latin America and the Caribbean a single region that defends our interests for the well-being of our peoples," he concluded.
Referring to recent attempts at political destabilization in Brazil and Bolivia, Fernandez warned about the advance of far-right organizations that "are threatening each of our peoples."
Latin America must not allow "the fascist right to put institutionality at risk. We must work together and be categorical in the defense of democracy and institutions," he said.