HAVANA, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Leaders of the left-wing Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) regional bloc gathered in Havana on Friday to discuss consolidation, political integration and better economic cooperation amid an "adverse regional scenario."
The summit, which opened with the presence of the presidents of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, discussed various political, social and economic issues of the group founded in 2004.
In the inaugural words of the event, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel urged the group to "act with boldness and realism," as well as to articulate viable plans to focus the available resources on the most urgent projects.
He warned on the need to "build a front as wide as possible" to deal with the "risks and threats" that surround the nations of the area which look to prevent progressive and left forces from advancing.
"ALBA is a genuine Latin American and Caribbean mechanism and has demonstrated as an efficient space for concertation, unity, defense of just causes, integration, cooperation and solidarity," said Diaz-Canel.
At the same time, he criticized U.S. interference in the internal affairs of the member states of ALBA as well as the "political subversion" and the "economic aggressions" coming from Washington.
According to Diaz-Canel, the current situation demands even more unity and political concertation among the member countries of ALBA to stop the return of "old practices" by Washington in coordination with regional right-wing governments.
Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the development of an economic model of integration for Latin America and the Caribbean is the great task of ALBA.
Maduro called to forge an economic partnership beyond social solidarity the bloc already has.
He also said Latin America is today disputed by the United States in its quest to undermine the continent's unity.
Also, Bolivian President, Evo Morales, said the bloc faces the "urgent task" of coming together to launch new economic cooperation with mechanisms like cryptocurrencies.
"We have to move on from words and expand our trade and cooperation with real initiatives. We need to exchange our own products and goods," he added.
Founded initially by Cuba and Venezuela in 2004, ALBA is associated with socialist and social democratic governments wishing to consolidate regional economic integration based on a vision of social welfare, exchanging goods and mutual economic aid.