ALBA BOSS CHASTISES ECUADOR FOR ABANDONING REGIONAL BLOC

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The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) has issued a statement expressing its regret at Ecuador's recent decision to withdraw from the regional bloc.

In a communique published Friday, ALBA's Executive Secretary David Choquehuanca Cespedes said he respected Ecuador's "sovereign decision" but warned that such a move placed regional integration in severe jeopardy.

"Using the current political situation of the people of Venezuela and thus joining the efforts of some governments in the region to seek the exit of the government of President Nicolas Maduro makes clear the line that Quito has decided to take on these issues," Cespedes said.

"The announced exit from Ecuador of the ALBA-TCP coincides with the political strategy currently being developed in South America, by some governments, of attacking Latin American and Caribbean integration, as, for example, has already been happening with the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and that will surely be extended to other integration spaces in Our America."

Cespedes continued by reminding the Ecuadorean government of Lenin Moreno that ALBA is governed by "justice, solidarity, equity, cooperation, complementarity and the common will to advance in an equitable development based on respect for the sovereignty and self-determination of peoples."

Ecuador's Foreign Minister Jose Valencia announced last week that the country was renouncing its membership of ALBA, which was created in 2005 to counter U.S. economic dominance in the region.

"The decision to leave #Alba is a firm decision of Ecuador, which seeks to ratify the independence of our country in its general action in regional policy, an action marked in principles," Valencia said.

Countries remaining active in the Bolivarian Alliance include Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, and Suriname.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK