States have long arranged themselves vertically; the fundamental ordering principal of political life remains substantially unchanged, with “right, as the world goes, . . . only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer as they must” (Thucydidies, 331). Modern international politics, and the system of international law that been used instrumentally to institutionalize it (Koskenniemi 2001, 238), is grounded in this foundation of verticality. The state system has, at least since 1945, been formally ordered on the basis of the principle of the equality of states (Alvarez 2006, 1-57). Yet functionally, the state system is vertically ordered, grounded on a rule of deference by weaker states to more powerful ones, and the deference of all to the great political powers (Menkhaus 2007, 83-93). This fundamental ordering framework, and its repercussions, has been nicely illustrated in the earlier chapters of this collection.
Modern regional integration in Latin America is commonly traced to the period immediately after the Second World War and the work of the United Nations Commission for Latin America. (United Nations 1950). In 1994, under the leadership of the United States, a Summit of the Americas was held in Miami to development the capstone to this movement toward hemispheric integration. The intention was to create by 2005 a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), under which the private markets-based model of economic globalization was to be further institutionalized in the Hemisphere (Philips 2005). It was in opposition to FTAA that ALBA was born.
In addition to these goals, ALBA also has four major objectives that seek to weave values and implementation. The first is to promote the integration and development of Latin America through cooperation, solidarity and unity in an effort to place the interests of the people above those of transnational capital (ALBA, ¿Que es ALBA?, n.d.). The second aims to promote integration agreements that develop the industrial and social infrastructures of a nation, and the region, with the goal of eliminating poverty, social exclusion and to assure better living conditions for all the inhabitants of Latin American nations (Id.). The third is to counter neo-liberal policies, particularly the attempt by the U.S. to create a Free Trade of the Americas, which traditionally benefit developed nations at the expense of developing nations (Bossi 2005). The fourth is to use complementary action based on the strengths that each country may possess, mutual cooperation, solidarity and respect for the national sovereignty of each country (Id.).
Constructing the ALBA From Within the Peoples.” Available http://www.alianzabolivariana.org/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=1980..