CELAC: Maduro Proposes to Create High-Level Presidential Agenda

CELAC: Maduro Proposes to Create High-Level Presidential Agenda
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2 March 2024
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"It should not be just another agenda, it has to be a central agenda of institutional, political and operational strengthening with the capacity to act on the major issues that burden us."

From Kingstown, capital of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro proposed Friday the creation of a high-level presidential agenda that would function as a methodology for consultation and decision-making in real time, to keep member states in communication on various common issues.

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Maduro officially proposed "to form a methodology of consultation and decision in real time that does not wait for the development only of the summits, but that keeps us interconnected and communicated on all the issues of the region and the world, a high-level presidential agenda of consultation and permanent decision."

The proposal took place during his intervention at the VIII Summit of Heads of State of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). 

"It should not be just another agenda, it must be a central agenda of institutional, political and operational strengthening with the capacity to act on the major issues that burden us: climate change, peace in the region, economic development, intra-regional trade," said the president.  

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CELAC is now mature enough to have an agile and efficient infrastructure and a General Secretariat that represents us all and complements the pro tempore presidency, giving continuity to the plans of all the presidencies that succeed each year, said the president.

Maduro further welcomed the pro tempore presidency assumed by Honduras, under the leadership of its president Xiomara Castro. He said that CELAC, under the presidency of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, has demonstrated its capacity for dialogue, diplomacy and negotiation. 

He also thanked the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves; the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit; and the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, for the meeting of understanding and peace convened by his Guyanese counterpart, Irfaan Ali last December 14 to address the differences over the Essequibo territory.

In this regard, Mduro expressed his interest in deepening the good relations of dialogue established with Ali, "and sooner rather than later the Geneva Agreement is reactivated, and we seek face to face, both governments and both peoples, a satisfactory, peaceful and diplomatic solution to the controversy we have had since the 19th century."

Coercive Measures

The president also reiterated his rejection of the unilateral and illegal coercive measures imposed against the country. More than 930 Unilateral Coercive Measures (U.C.M.), which he described as criminal, have affected the economy and the population.

"We have defined it to be a territory of peace, and for there to be peace there has to be justice," said Maduro, recalling that they have always raised their voices to demand the lifting of the blockade against Cuba. 

"We have had the consensus of the 33 CELAC countries, and we have had the almost complete consensus of the United Nations General Assembly and the United States of America, instead of taking a step of rectification and respect for international law, on the contrary, has intensified the blockade against our sister Cuba, but in addition it undertook the onslaught against society, the economy and the people of Venezuela."

Emtrasur Aircraft

Regarding the theft of the Venezuelan airplane belonging to Empresa de Transporte Aerocargos del Sur (Emtrasur), the President said that this aircraft, which was used to send aid to the Palestinian people, Suriname, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Haiti, among other Latin American countries, was dismembered upon its arrival in Miami and exhibited to the press as an act of revenge against Venezuela.

Likewise, he added that the company Citgo, which belongs to the Venezuelan State and whose cost is estimated at 12 billion dollars, with net profits of five billion dollars that rest in banks in the United States, will be dismantled in the weeks to come. "It is an economic aggression without limit, an operation of revenge without limit," he said. 

Maduro made a call on CELAC members to "react against the policies of sanctions, of aggressions, of economic war that is also another way of disturbing peace, if Latin America and the Caribbean is a territory of peace, it has to be a territory free of MCU, free of economic sanctions."

Presidential Elections

Regarding the upcoming presidential elections in Venezuela, Maduro highlighted that the country will hold its 31st electoral process in 25 years of Revolution.

Rejecting the permanent media campaign against the country, he said that reliable, transparent elections will be held in the country with an electoral system "that I would like CELAC to know about and be able to disseminate beyond the manipulation, the lies." 

In this regard, he acknowledged the signing of an agreement by the Venezuelan parliament with 43 political parties of the national life, including cultural sectors, Jews, Muslims, Christians, among others, on a proposed electoral calendar that was submitted to the National Electoral Council. Said agreement sets the basis for full guarantees for a totally reliable electoral process in the second semester of this year, as it has been established, mature said.

He asked CELAC to evaluate the possibility of preparing a delegation of international observers to join the process of preparation, realization and development of the elections "from this day until the elections are set and carried out, and also the UN General Secretariat, to go and see the reality of the electoral process in the country.

Solidarity with the Palestinian People

The president referred to the constant bombings by Israel against the people of Palestine. Maduro ratified his solidarity with the Palestinian cause, denouncing the genocide of more than 30,000 Palestinians at the hands of the occupying forces.

He urged the countries that make up CELAC to raise their voices in a united manner for life, for the defense of international law and human rights. "It is valid the concern of millions of human beings on the planet and of dozens of governments so that our region has a clear position and accompanies the African Union, the Arab League, the organization of the Islamic community and the peoples of the world seeking and demanding a ceasefire in Gaza."

Alliance with BRICS

In the economic sphere, the Venezuelan president insisted that the CELAC member countries must be aligned with the BRICS, "which today represent the alternative option to advance beyond the hegemonic world", he declared.

Maduro added that the consolidation of respectful relations with the European Union, the African Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is fundamental to consolidate the region as an emerging region of hope and to broaden the horizon to reach the first world.

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