CELAC’s Irrelevance to Latin America’s Challenges Is a Choice

CELAC’s Irrelevance to Latin America’s Challenges Is a Choice
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez greets Honduran President Xiomara Castro as Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva checks his watch at the CELAC Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jan. 24, 2023 (AP photo by Gustavo Garello).

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, met in Buenos Aires, Argentina, last week and accomplished essentially nothing. The 111-point declaration signed by the leaders who attended the summit is a combination of vague expressions of concern over a range of ongoing crises and outright denials of reality.

CELAC, an organization that has existed since 2011, launched with a simple premise: to build a regional organization without the leadership or participation of the United States in order to meaningfully address the hemisphere’s problems.

For more than a decade, CELAC has proven on an annual basis that they’ve succeeded at the first part of that goal. In summit after summit, including last week’s, over 30 Latin American leaders have come together for a photo op and to sign a document demonstrating that they have built a group that excludes the U.S., as well as Canada. These summits often touch on niche issues important to Latin America and dismissed by Washington. They criticize U.S. policies that are widely disliked across the region, such as U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba. In contrast to the Organization of American States or the Summit of the Americas, where U.S. leadership and influence are omnipresent, Cuba has been invited to every one of these CELAC meetings.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article as well as three free articles per month. You'll also receive our free email newsletter to stay up to date on all our coverage:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review