There is Much to Learn from Cuba in CELAC, Says Alicia Barcena

aliciabarcena celacSantiago de Chile, Jan 23 (Prensa Latina) The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Barcena, said that Cuba has much to teach the countries of the region about fighting inequality and breaking the vicious circles of poverty.

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In an exclusive interview with Prensa Latina, the UN official described as very positive the fact that the island will take over the reins of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) from Chile on January 28, during the first summit of the Regional Forum, founded in December 2011 in Caracas.

Barcena announced her visit to Cuba in February in order to make available to the Cuban Government, as president of the CELAC, the full capacity of the ECLAC.

The UN expert recalled that during the year in which the CELAC was chaired by Chile, it placed particular emphasis on issues of economic financial investment, important for development.

And with “Cuba, we will emphasize in the issues of social investment, the importance of education as the great bridge to combat intergenerational inequalities, and break the vicious circle of poverty,” she said, convinced that education will be an issue addressed with great force.

The ECLAC Executive Secretary recalled that her organization sends inputs to the UN General Assembly so that the economic and social impact of the US blockade against Cuba and its people is understood.

“We believe that there is a need to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade, and there have been 20 years of consecutive votes on this issue by the General Assembly. We hope this is fully heard, because that will allow for a total insertion of Cuba in the global economy,” she said.

Barcena said that the hostile policy ignores the notions of sovereign equality of States and non-intervention and non-interference.

In her visit to the island, Bárcena will participate in the celebration of 50 years of planning in Cuba, which coincide with the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Latin American Institute for Economic and Social Planning (Ilpes).

“In Cuba we will launch a very important process in February, of consultation to all the countries, to culminate in Brazil in November 2013,” as the South American giant chairs the Regional Planning Council (CPR).

The campaign will begin in Cuba and continue in Guatemala, Ecuador, Mexico and other countries, culminating in Brazil in November 2013, with a revival of Ilpes, as an organ of cohesion and regional coordination.

The officialâ�Ös visit to Cuba is also aimed at creating the bilateral agenda with the organization she leads.

She is interested on strengthening ties with the National Statistics Office, with which the ECLAC has a great relationship.

“To me, redefining our bilateral CEPAL-Cuba relationship is always very important, and we are here to support anything that is important to Cuba this year,” she said.

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