Cuba’s President Raul Castro speaks to his Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez during a session of the CELAC Summit in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean are in Cuba to talk about poverty, inequality and hunger at the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC. (AP Photo/Cubadebate, Ismael Francisco)
HAVANA (AP) — Cuban President Raul Castro called on Latin American and Caribbean leaders Tuesday to work together on pressing regional problems at a gathering of all Western Hemisphere nations except the U.S. and Canada.
In his keynote speech as host for the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC for its initials in Spanish, Castro argued that the bloc should aspire to unity despite diversity, describing it as “the legitimate representative of the interests of Latin America and the Caribbean.”
“We should establish a new regional and international cooperation paradigm,” Castro said. “In the context of CELAC, we have the possibility to create a model of our own making, adapted to our realities, based on the principles of mutual benefit.”