Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa announced on May 16 that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will provide assistance to the thousands of Asian immigrants stranded off the coast of Thailand.
“This world is crazy, it shows a total disregard for human life to have people stranded on a boat, dying of starvation without being allowed to get off the boat,” Correa stated during his weekly presidential address.
Correa said: “If the problem continues then we will provide our total support including food supplies as well as CELAC welcoming those impacted by the crisis in order to alleviate the tragedy that is taking place.”
CELAC was first launched in Caracas in 2012 and involves all nations in the hemisphere except for the United States and Canada. It was set up as a counter to the US-dominated Organisation of American States as part of the process of greater Latin American integration and unity.
The Ecuadorean leader urged the entire international community to ban discriminatory immigration policies. In recent weeks, several South East Asian countries including, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia have turned away boats carrying thousands of Muslim Rohingya refugees fleeing the intense persecution against their community in the Buddhist-majority Myanmar.