Nicaragua Joins the “Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas”

January 20, 2007

On January 11, Nicaragua's newly elected President, Daniel Ortega, signed an agreement for Nicaragua to join the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ABLA).

ABLA, which already includes Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia, is a regional trade and economic association in Latin America based on the principles of solidarity, cooperation, complementarity and mutual aid. ABLA developed as an alternative to U.S. imperialism's proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and the U.S. program of neo-liberalism which aims at U.S. penetration and domination of the economies of Latin America.

Also on January 11, Nicaragua and Venezuela signed 15 agreements on economic cooperation valued at $600 million. As part of these agreements, Venezuela forgave "without conditions" Nicaragua's debt of $31.3 million and donated another $10 million for Nicaragua's social program. In addition Venezuela will supply Nicaragua with 10 million barrels of discounted oil per day. In addition the two countries will look into joint construction of an oil refinery in Nicargua, an aluminum factory and expanded bilateral trade.