THE progressive Alba regional economic and diplomatic bloc marked its 10th anniversary on Sunday.
Presidents Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Evo Morales of Bolivia joined Cuban President Raul Castro for the festivities in Havana, where the group was founded.
Foreign ministers from other member countries also attended the gathering.
The meeting made a 40-point declaration about pressing issues in the region such as landlocked Bolivia’s access to the sea and the peace process in Colombia.
Alba pulls together progressive countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and places its focus on social programmes dealing in health and education.
It was created in 2004 by then Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who has since retired.
It aims to counter US influence in the region and Raul Castro called Alba “a real alternative to the economic and social model” of the United States.