The Venezuela-led Bolivarian Alliance ALBA will survive beyond President Hugo Chavez, according to Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
Responding to queries about an ALBA post-Chavez, PM Skerrit said he was confident that the organization which groups eight Latin American and Caribbean countries including Dominica, had a crucial role to play in the hemisphere and he expected whichever government that succeeds the Chavez regime to also embrace ALBA.
The Venezuelan leader is reported to be suffering from cancer.
Prime Minister Skerrit says the organization is strong enough to continue if President Chavez succumbs to his illness.
“Of course it will continue, we have to be careful about giving people the impression that this is about Chavez , this is about the people of Latin America and the Caribbean,” the Dominican leader told reporters at a news conference.
“And any government who doesn’t see the importance of that to address the issues confronting the people of the Caribbean and Latin America, is not really interested in the people’” PM Skerrit said.
Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda and St Vincent and the Grenadines are members of ALBA, and another OECS country, St Lucia, has now applied to join the grouping.
ALBA is being touted by President Chavez and other members of the grouping as an alternative to the US-led initiative – NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Below is a video of PM Skerrit at ALBA Conference: