Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez and other ministers from the region kicked off a special session of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), on May 2 in San Salvador to discuss recent violence in the South American country.
The 2016 summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) began on January 26 with the meeting of foreign ministers and chancellors of the Latin American nations at the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in Mitad del Mundo, Quito, Ecuador. CELAC, a regional body involving all nations in the Americas except for the United States and Canada, was officially created in Caracas in 2011 under the leadership of then-Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
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.
A second round of talks between US and Cuban diplomats began in Washington on February 27, with the aim of restoring diplomatic relations. US President Barack Obama announced, in what he termed the most significant Cuba policy shift in more than 50 years, that he will pursue diplomatic relations and urge Congress to dismantle the US blockade of Cuba.
A special commission of the two largest associations of Latin American nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC, which includes all of the Latin America and the Caribbean) and Union of South American Nations(UNASUR, which represents South American countries) met to discuss US attacks on Venezuelan democracy in a February 11 meeting. Held in Montevideo, Uruguay, to analyse the relationship between the United States and Venezuela as well as the situation inside Venezuela, the joint commission was convened at the request of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Venezuela rejects new US sanctions The Venezuelan government rejected aggressive new US-imposed sanctions on February 3, TeleSUR English said that day, insisting the measures flout international law. Venezuela's foreign ministry said in a statement: “The people of Venezuela ratifies its independence and sovereignty. We do not recognise … interference of any kind by foreign powers.” It accused the US of “violating the principles of national sovereignty, equal rights and non-interference in the internal affairs inherent in international law”.