COCHABAMBA, Bolivia-THE proposed shared currency of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), the Sucre, was recently approved for virtual implementation throughout member countries by January of 2010.
The decision was reached at a weekend meeting in Bolivia between Latin America and Caribbean leaders after much discussion on the issue.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the founder of ALBA, called the Sucre currency a “revolution of paradigms” and a way for ALBA members to fight against “the tyranny of the [US] dollar”.
“The Sucre - an autonomous and sovereign monetary system that will be agreed upon today so that it can be implemented in 2010,” Chavez said prior to the meeting in Bolivia.
While the currency is anticipated by Chavez to bolster the global trading power of ALBA’s nine current members, it does pose some challenges for member countries that are also a part of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), as it would directly conflict with the Eastern Caribbean Dollar that is already used to trade in those countries.
Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica are the only full members of ALBA from the ECCU, and following the weekend meeting it was reported by BBC Caribbean that those countries would not “initially be participating in the proposed currency”.
The other member countries of ALBA reportedly accepted the stance of the ECCU member countries, though no word was given as to when or if they would eventually adopt the Sucre currency.
Prior to the 6th PetroCaribe Summit held in St. Kitts, Prime Minister of St. Kitts-Nevis Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas said that even though the Federation is considering becoming a full member of ALBA, the Sucre currency would not be adopted by the nation.
“I don’t think that St. Kitts-Nevis has any reason to leave the currency arrangement we have with the Eastern Caribbean states. It is not something to contemplate at all,” he stated.
Apart from discussing the Sucre currency being virtually implemented, members of ALBA also contemplated carrying out economic sanctions against the interim government of Honduras for ousting the democratically elected President, Manuel Zelaya, in a June coup.
“They have shown their claws again in Honduras and overthrown a legitimate, democratic and progressive government; an ALBA government of the Bolivarian Alliance,” Chavez said.
Calls were also made for the United States to end its decades old embargo against Cuba, who is one of the founding members of ALBA.