A new regional cooperation bloc to include every country in the Americas except Canada and the United Sates has received almost no coverage in the English-language media. Some observers, however, believe the Community of Latin American and Carribean States -- CELAC for its Spanish acronym -- represents the first step in a historic geopolitical shift away from an era dominated by pro-U.S. policies.
"It's a regional grouping for a new era really, which is no longer about free trade and neoliberalism," says Alexander Main at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington.
Foreign ministers from several of CELAC's 32 member countries approved a draft document outlining procedures and an operational framework for the organization in Caracas, Venezuela, last month. Some are calling the document an official charter, and according to Main, who spoke with Trend Lines earlier this week, its official approval is now very likely by the time Latin American heads of state gather for the organization's inaugural summit in July.