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ALBA | TCP

The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA in Spanish) is a project to counteract the US-backed Free Trade Area of the Americas. Born out of initial agreements forged between the governments of Venezuela and Cuba in December 2004, ALBA aims to promote regional integration of Latin America based on values and objectives opposed to imperialism. However, it continues to rely on some basic neoliberal tenets, such as a strong emphasis on exports. Concretely, it involves Cuba, Bolivia and Venezuela through cooperation pacts covering a wide range of areas such as energy, health and culture. Nicaragua officially joined in January 2007, followed by Dominica, Saint Vincent and Antigua in February 2007. In June 2009, Ecuador became a full member.

The People’s Trade Agreement (TCP in Spanish) is considered the trade arm of ALBA. It is a direct effort to defeat the bilateral free trade agreements that the US government has been pushing in Latin America. The TCP aims to promote trade in the region along principles of solidarity, cooperation and complementarity. It was launched in May 2006.

Together, ALBA and TCP form a popular axis of today’s push for "alternative" regional integration in Latin America with the direct backing of Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Evo Morales.

On 4-5 February 2012, the 11th ALBA-TCP summit was held in Caracas, Venezuela. It was decided at this meeting to create an ALBA-TCP Economic Space (ECOALBA) "as a shared-development, inter-dependent, sovereign and supportive economic zone aimed at consolidating and enlarging a new alternative model of economic relations that will strengthen and diversify the production apparatus and trade exchanges, as well as establishing the bases for the bilateral and multilateral instruments that the Parties may enter into on this matter, with a view to satisfying the physical and spiritual needs of our peoples."

last update: May 2012


Congress okays Venezuelan-Nicaraguan cooperation agreement
Venezuela’s National Assembly approved Thursday a framework agreement on cooperation between Venezuela and Nicaragua with a view to the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (Alba).
ALBA: Justice in deeds
The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) welcomed Nicaragua as its fourth full member as the FSLN returned to power in that country, while in Ecuador, President Rafael Correa adds new support to the movement for Latin America integration.
Critics given sneak peak of free trade deal
In a bid to secure a smooth passage for a public hearing on the Thai-Japanese free trade agreement, the Thai Foreign Ministry yesterday allowed a group of critics to gain access to the text of the controversial deal.
ALBA: Venezuela’s answer to free trade
The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) represents the first attempt at regional integration that is not based primarily on trade liberalization but on a new vision of social welfare and equity. This report provides a detailed account, and a critical assessment, of the ALBA project to date.
Interview: Alternatives for Integration and Free trade Must Be Considered for the Continent
It will be necessary to consider several alternative models for integration and trade between Latin American countries through several initiatives.
Proposals to protect the constitution from neoliberalism
In the last 14 months, the Bolivarian Movement of Struggle against the FTA and FTAA and its successor, the Bolivarian Movement for the Sovereignty and Integration of People, have been preparing a proposal for a debate in the Constituent Assembly which was set up the 6th of August in Sucre. It is not a legal document but a platform of minimal principles to contribute to the debate.
Cuba, Venezuela use Mercosur to promote ALBA
Rather than being a “blow” to the ALBA project, Venezuela’s entry into Mercosur is clearly aimed at defending and promoting this anti-capitalist project.
LatAm diplos talk FTA in Uruguay
Ambasadors from three Latin American nations will present in Montevideo the foundations of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), in a specialized meeting to be held at the Republic’s state University.
Latin America Now: An Interview with Raúl Zibechi
In this interview, Raúl Zibechi discusses the challenges of the Evo Morales administration in Bolivia, the power and role of Bolivian social movements, projects for regional integration such as People’s Trade Agreement and the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the region’s new situation after the electoral victories of various "progressive" governments.
Defining the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas - ALBA
Much has been written and theorized about the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) since President Chavez first proposed the idea at Isla Margarita at the III Summit of the Heads of State and the Government of the Association of Caribbean States in December, 2001.