Caracas, January 27, 2008 ( – The 6th Summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America (ALBA), a joint Venezuelan-Cuban initiative based on fair trade as an alternative to the U.S.-sponsored Free Trade Area of the Americas, concluded in Caracas on Saturday with the founding of a new Bank of ALBA and the signing of a series of economic and social agreements between the member nations. The Dominica also became the newest country to join the regional fair trade bloc.

Commenting on the launch of the new financial institution, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that it breaks with capitalist concepts and is a political instrument for social and economic development.

ALBA, “as its name indicates, is an alternative to the global capitalist model, a concept of a geo-economic, geopolitical, social, cultural and ideological space that is in construction,” he added.

Chavez also emphasized the importance of the incorporation of the Dominica into ALBA. saying, “despite the globalized media bombardment… it shows that an alternative continues growing and consolidating itself.” (more…)


img_0080.jpgJanuary 25, 2005
By Walden Bello

(Speech at Karangalan 2005, Cultural Center of the Philippines , January 21, 2005)

Walden Bello is a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award for 2003. He is professor of sociology and public administration at the University of the Philippines and executive director of the Bangkok-based Focus on the Global South.

I would like to thank the organizers of this event, particularly my co-awardee of the Right Livelihood Award for 2003, Nicky Perlas, for inviting me to speak at this event. Nicky’s optimism, as many of you know, is infectious, and I do hope all of us will be infected by it today.

I think our previous speakers have already alluded to the mood of dispiritedness that shrouds the country today. Perhaps more than at any other time, self doubt has become a chronic collective neurosis. For some the way out is to emigrate, an option that according to the polls is preferred by one out of five Filipinos. (more…)