Published On: Wed, Jan 30th, 2013

CELAC integration ideal is moving forward, says Cuban president

SANTIAGO, Chile (ACN) – Cuban President Raul Castro said in Chile that the integration ideal that inspired the creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC by its Spanish acronym) is moving forward.

“We are building (...) the ideal of a Latin America and the Caribbean which can be diverse but united in a common area of independence and political sovereignty, sovereign control of our vast natural resources to move towards sustainable development, regional integration and enrichment of our culture,” Castro said.

Before the plenary session of the CELAC Summit in Santiago de Chile, Castro acknowledged that the region is achieving its mission amidst difficult times.

The Cuban president urged the participants to give a strong social dimension to CELAC, with an approach aimed at solving the problems of poverty, illiteracy and drug addiction.

“We are required to achieve significant progress in education, as the basis for economic and social development,” he said.

He referred to the need to expand what he considered the still insufficient support to Haiti, where he said there are all kinds of material needs and whose government needs resources for reconstruction and development.

He also called on the CELAC member countries to be able to promote their own regional architecture, adapted to the peculiarities and needs of Latin America and the Caribbean.

He referred to the scourge of drugs in the nations of the region and suggested that "you can take steps" to address it.

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