ALBA or ALBA-TCP, formally the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (Spanish: Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América) or the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America - Peoples’ Trade Treaty (Spanish: Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América - Tratado de Comercio de los Pueblos), is an intergovernmental organization based on the idea of the social, political and economic integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The name "Bolivarian" refers to the ideology of Simón Bolívar, the 19th-century South American independence leader born in Caracas who wanted Hispanic America to unite as a single "Great Nation." Founded initially by Cuba and Venezuela in 2004, it is associated with socialist and social democratic governments wishing to consolidate regional economic integration based on a vision of social welfare, bartering and mutual economic aid. The eleven member countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Grenada, Nicaragua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela. Suriname was admitted to ALBA as a guest country at a February 2012 summit. ALBA nations may conduct trade using a virtual regional currency known as the SUCRE. Venezuela and Ecuador made the first bilateral trade deal using the Sucre, instead of the US dollar, on July 6, 2010.
Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (Spanish)
Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America
• Cuba–Venezuela Agreement
|14 December 2004|
• People's Trade Agreement
|29 April 2006|
|2,513,337 km2 (970,405 sq mi)|
• 2008 estimate
|27.65/km2 (71.6/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2008 estimate|
• Per capita
|Time zone||(UTC-4 to -6)|
The name initially contained "Alternative" instead of "Alliance", but was changed on June 24, 2009.
The agreement was proposed by the government of Venezuela, led by President Hugo Chávezas an alternative to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA or ALCA in Spanish, an agreement proposed by the United States) that had been opposed by several countries in the region and inspired massive popular protests.
This Cuba-Venezuela Agreement, signed on December 14, 2004, by Presidents Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro, was aimed at the exchange of medical and educational resources and petroleum between the both nations. Venezuela began to deliver about 96,000 barrels of oil per day from its state-owned oil company, PDVSA, to Cuba at very favorable prices. In exchange, Cuba sent 20,000 state-employed medical staff and thousands of teachers to Venezuela's poorest states. The agreement also made it possible for Venezuelans to travel to Cuba for specialized medical care, free of charge.
When it was launched in 2004, ALBA had only two member states, Venezuela and Cuba. Subsequently, a number of other Latin American and Caribbean nations entered into this 'Peoples' Trade Agreement' (Spanish: Tratado de Comercio de los Pueblos, or TCP), which aims to implement the principles of ALBA. Bolivia under Evo Morales joined in 2006, Nicaragua under Daniel Ortega in 2007, and Ecuador under Rafael Correa in 2009. Honduras, under Manuel Zelaya, joined in 2008, but withdrew in 2009 after the 2009 Honduran coup d'état. The Caribbean nations Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia also joined.
Jamaica, at the invitation of Hugo Chávez, the President of Venezuela,  and Mexico, at the invitation of Daniel Ortega, the President of Nicaragua, were invited to join the ALBA countries. Hugo Chávez also invited the countries of Central America to join ALBA, and invited Argentina to use SUCRE, the currency of this organization. Vietnam has been invited to join as an observer. In the eleventh Summit of ALBA in February 2012, Suriname, St. Lucia and Haiti requested admission to the organization. Haiti was granted the special status of permanent member and the other two countries were named special members, while awaiting their full incorporation.
President Chávez was honored posthumously by the nine member countries of the group and special guests Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Suriname, Guyana and Haiti at the group's 12th Presidential Summit in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
In October 2009, ALBA leaders agreed, at a summit in Bolivia, to create a common regional currency. "The document is approved," said Bolivian President Evo Morales, the summit host. President Hugo Chávez (Venezuela) announced "The sucre [is] an autonomous and sovereign monetary system that will be agreed upon today so that it can be implemented in 2010." As of 2015, the virtual currency is being used to compensate trade between Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, and especially Ecuador and Venezuela.
||E.E.Z + Area (km²)
||GDP PPP (US$ bn)
|Antigua and Barbuda||Antigua and Barbuda||2009-06-24||85,632||442||110,531||1.575||St. John's|
|Bolivia||Plurinational State of Bolivia||2006-04-29||9,119,152||1,098,581||50.904||La Paz|
|Cuba||Republic of Cuba||2004-12-14||11,451,652||110,861||460,637||114.100||Havana|
|Dominica||Commonwealth of Dominica||2008-01-20||72,660||754||29,736||0.977||Roseau|
|Ecuador||Republic of Ecuador||2009-06-24||14,573,101||283,561||1,333,600||134.805||Quito|
|Nicaragua||Republic of Nicaragua||2007-02-23||5,891,199||129,495||254,254||18.878||Managua|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis||2014-12-14||54,961||261||10,235||1.087||Basseterre|
|Saint Lucia||Saint Lucia||2013-07-20||180,870||617||16,156||2.101||Castries|
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||2009-06-24||120,000||389||36,691||1.259||Kingstown|
|Venezuela||Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela||2004-12-14||28,199,825||916,445||1,387,952||374.111||Caracas|
|ALBA-TCP Totals||11 Countries||–||69,694,091||2,514,563.5||5,057,735||641.136|
Other ALBA InitiativesEdit
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Established in 2005 and based on earlier agreements between ALBA founders Cuba and Venezuela, Petrocaribe looks to sell oil under a concessionary financial agreement to fourteen member nations situated in the Caribbean. This initiative provides the Caribbean nations with important hydrocarbon resources, which many do not possess on their territories. In the case of Cuba, Petrocaribe ensures a continual flow to a nation that has been deprived of oil since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Launched in 2005, TeleSUR is a media conglomerate that provides news and current affairs broadcasts throughout the ALBA bloc. The program is based on an internet based television channel and is a cooperative effort between the governments of Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.
PETROSUR is an inter-governmental energy alliance between Venezuelan PDVSA, Argentinean YPF, and Brazilian Petrobras nationalized oil companies. The goal of this initiative is to provide funding for social welfare programs within these nations. It is another example of how ALBA nations are using oil revenues to bring aid to poorest inhabitants of these nations.
In August 2013, BBC News stated that "Alba consists of one oil-rich nation and various minnows wishing to benefit from its largesse" and that "there is little chance of the rhetoric becoming reality any time soon". As the crisis in Bolivarian Venezuela began, President Nicolás Maduro called on other ALBA members to begin contributing, though the smaller members distanced themselves from the proposal since they only sought the benefits from Venezuela.
During the 2017 Venezuelan protests, Williams Dávila, President of the MERCOSUR Committee of International Affairs, Interregional and Strategic Planning, criticized ALBA, stating that "populism always attacks the OAS because it is composed of sovereign states, but the states that are part of ALBA act as the vassal countries of Cuba".
- The total area of ALBA reaches 5,057,735 km² if the maritime areas is included .
- "Declaration of the ALBA-TCP XIII Summit and commemoration of its tenth anniversary, December 14, 2014 - ALBA TCP". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- venezuelanalysis, 7 July 2010, Venezuela Pays for First ALBA Trade with Ecuador in New Regional Currency
- "ALBA pasa a ser Alianza Bolivariana de los Pueblos de América" (in Spanish). Venezolana de Televisión. June 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-30.[permanent dead link]
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-11-04. Retrieved 2005-12-02. initial Cuba-Venezuela TCP
- Monthly Review, 2 July 2008, ALBA: Creating a Regional Alternative to Neo-liberalism?
- "Cuba Revolución: Chávez invita a Jamaica a sumarse al ALBA". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- Diario, El Nuevo. "El Nuevo Diario". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- (ABN), Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias. "Chávez invitó a toda Centroamérica a unirse al ALBA". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- "Chávez invita a Argentina a sumarse a la moneda virtual sucre - Radio La Primerísima". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- Venezuela invita a Vietnam a sumarse al ALBA como observador Archived July 20, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- Americas Quarterly, "Twelfth ALBA Presidential Summit Takes Place in Ecuador," July 30, 2013. http://www.americasquarterly.org/content/twelfth-alba-presidential-summit-takes-place-ecuador
- "Bolivia summit adopts new currency". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- "Granada - ALBA TCP". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- "San Cristóbal y Nieves - ALBA TCP". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- El Universal, 6 February 2012, ALBA summit ends with entry of guest countries
- "Haiti Willing to become Full ALBA Member : Escambray". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- "Farsnews". en.farsnews.com. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
- "A Guide to ALBA | Americas Quarterly". www.americasquarterly.org. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
- Plummer, Robert (1 August 2013). "Alba alliance ambitions lay bare Latin trade confusion". BBC News. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
- "Dávila: Víctimas de uso armas prohibidas en manifestaciones están bajo protección del derecho internacional". La Patilla (in Spanish). 14 April 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2017.