by Federico Fuentes
3 December 2011
from Green Left Weekly
A summit of huge importance was held in Venezuela on December 2-3. Two hundred years after Latin America’s independence fighters first raised the battle cry for a united Latin America, 33 heads of states from across the region came together to form the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
For Latin America, the summit represented a further step away from its traditional role as the United States’ backyard and its emergence as a player in its own right in international politics.
The importance of this new institution in world politics cannot be overstated. The combined gross domestic product of the countries within CELAC make it the third-largest economic powerhouse in the world.
It is also home to the world’s largest oil reserves and the first and third largest global producers of food and energy, respectively.