Initiated in 2004 as a pet project of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, the Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América started as a pact between the impoverished nation of Cuba, and Venezuela.
The pact started as a simple partnership between communist Cuba, and fascist Venezuela. Under the initial agreement, Venezuela basically exchanged about 96,000 barrels of oil per day to Cuba at what has been described as “very favorable prices” in exchange for the local presence of roughly 20,000 medical professionals paid by the state of Cuba.
In retrospect, it is at least a curious coincidence that Chavez initiated this partnership before confirming 7 years later that he had come down with cancer.
Currently, the “Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America” counts Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela as members of the union.
The union has largely been associated with socialist leaning governments in an attempt to further populist policies in countries such as Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
Estimated total GDP for the union is around $650 billion USD. Members of the Pacific Alliance would share a GDP of roughly $1,900 billion if combined; nearly three times that of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. South America’s most powerful alliance, Mercosur, represents an estimated $2.895 trillion.
Some of the as yet unarchived goals of the union are a single currency similar to the struggling Euro, and additional social, political, and economic integrations.