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Cuban leader hails creation of new regional bloc

06-03-2011 09:43 BJT

HAVANA, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Cuban leader Raul Castro on Thursday welcomed as a major event the upcoming establishment of a new regional bloc that aims to achieve better integration within the Americas.

Castro said the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will offer an alternative to the Organization of American States (OAS), from which Cuba was expelled in 1962.

"The OAS is the result of the Cold War, an instrument created for Latin America and all the doctrine invented in the Cold War," said Castro, adding that Cuba will never return to the OAS.

He said that CELAC will represent all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and serve as a forum for regional integration and development without the political influence imposed by the United States and Canada.

CELAC is to be officially launched on Sunday in Venezuela at a summit of participating countries.

The idea of the new grouping was initiated in February 2010 at a regional summit the Mexican resort of Cancun, where 32 Latin American heads of state agreed to create a new regional body with the objective "to distance itself from U.S. influence."

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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