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 by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

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 a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

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

More World Politics Review