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Cuban President Raul Castro takes over the presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) from his Chilean counterpart Sebastián Piñera.
CELAC consists of 33 countries and its purpose is to deepen Latin American integration and reduce the US influence on the economy and politics of the region.
The bloc, created on February 23, 2010, rejects the US embargo on Cuba as well as other efforts to isolate the communist government.