25th São Paulo Forum

Final Declaration

The delegates to the 25th Meeting of the São Paulo Forum, gathered in Caracas, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, cradle of the Liberator Simón Bolívar and of his worthy follower, Commander Hugo Chávez Frías, on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of his birth, have reached the following conclusions:

One year after the 24th Meeting in Havana, the multifaceted reactionary offensive of U.S. imperialism and its oligarchic right-wing allies has deepened. But at the same time, Latin America and the Caribbean are also the scene of important popular struggles and triumphs that have halted the imperial offensive. The recent cases of Mexico, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico confirm this.

It is urgent to retake the initiative with more vigour and efficiency. This is possible "when there is unity, determined and capable political leadership, clear objectives of struggle, combat morale and [the struggle is] rooted in the popular classes." This view, approved by the 24th Meeting last year, remains totally valid.

Despite the fact that the negative effects of the concentration of property, power and wealth in the hands of the usual privileged minority continue to deepen, in the countries of the region where this has happened social protest is growing, while the left, popular and progressive forces, especially in the sphere of social and popular movements, are putting forward anti-neoliberal proposals that we must encourage and resolutely support.

The international right does not cease in its subversive plans; it operates in a coordinated manner to divide and/or weaken our national States; it aims to annihilate or delegitimize any project of social change that seeks to advance along non-capitalist or simply post-neoliberal paths; it works tirelessly to erode our national identities, as well as the cultural values that give us social cohesion; and it is accelerating its efforts aimed at dividing us on every terrain.

Let us oppose the disintegration program of the right with the sovereign integration program that is worthy of our peoples. Faced with the free trade agreements promoted by the United States, let us strengthen sovereign integration projects such as CELAC, Alba-TCP, Mercosur and other popular and autonomous integration initiatives.

The Trump Administration, the perfect expression of the Yankee Empire and transnational financialized capitalism that prevails today, seeks to reverse, with increasing violence in all spheres, its declining relative power as the hegemonic centre of the international right. United, let us prevent it from achieving its historic goals of domination over the lands of Our America. We are obligated with our peoples to prevent the Monroe Doctrine from achieving its interventionist aims. The Bolivar Doctrine to face the Monroe Doctrine.

The political experience of the left and of the popular and progressive forces from 1959 to the present multiplies the hopes for maintaining that it is possible to defeat any imperial offensive. This is demonstrated today by the Bolivarian Revolution, the Cuban Revolution itself, the successful Bolivian political experience and Sandinista Nicaragua.

Let us strengthen the struggles for justice for all, for social emancipation, for full political sovereignty, economic independence and the self-determination of our peoples.

Indigenous delegates at the Foro de São Paulo

Let us continue to build the broadest anti-imperialist anti-neoliberal unity with respect to the diversity of left and progressive political parties and forces, the social and popular movements that unite them, and the left and progressive governments, to defeat the imperialist offensive and the deepening and/or restoration of neoliberalism.

Faced with these realities, the 25th Meeting of the São Paulo Forum calls with a sense of urgency, to strengthen the world movement in defence of peace, democracy and the social gains that have been achieved. The aggressive and irresponsible international conduct of the current Trump Administration demands it.

It calls for the promotion of the broadest worldwide solidarity with the defence of the sovereignty and self-determination of the Venezuelan people, and their right to live in peace.

It supports the dialogue between the Bolivarian Government and the opposition tendencies promoted by the constitutional president Nicolás Maduro, as it is a genuine expression of the current democracy and freedoms in Venezuela, which is why it is supported by the majority of the Venezuelan people for settling differences constitutionally and peacefully, without foreign interference.

It energetically rejects the threats of military intervention against Venezuela and condemns all aspects of the economic, financial, commercial blockade and diplomatic siege of the government of the United States.

The preservation of peace in Venezuela is the preservation of peace in the region and one of the priorities of the parties that make up the São Paulo Forum.

It reaffirms the just causes approved in the 23rd and 24th São Paulo Forum Meetings, considering them to be valid. Accordingly, this 25th Meeting calls to:

Emphasize, as a common goal, the defence of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, approved at the 2nd Summit of CELAC. This is urgent and vital.

Defend CELAC as the greatest unitary development of the last 200 years and spread the notion of integration among our peoples.

Repudiate the dangerous military presence of the United States and its NATO allies in the Caribbean and the Atlantic for clearly aggressive purposes and putting pressure on our nations.

Vigorously reject the Monroe Doctrine and all notions of the U.S. about Latin America and the Caribbean being its "backyard."

Organize actions in every space possible to oppose the domination of Yankee Imperialism in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Be rigorously acquainted with how the international, regional and local right operates against this continent that we defend and will defend.

Reaffirm the importance of the São Paulo Forum's relations with the left parties of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Denounce the interfering role of the OAS in the service of the USA. It continues to operate as a faithful U.S. ministry of colonies, symbolized by its Secretary General Luís Almagro, pawn of the Empire.

Condemn the unconventional war being waged by the United States against governments that do not bow to its orders and interests.

Vigorously confront the right's advance over our peoples. Evidence of this is the recycled, authoritarian and pro-fascist neoliberal governments, such as those of Bolsonaro in Brazil, Iván Duque in Colombia, and Mario Abdo Benítez in Paraguay, Mauricio Macri in Argentina, Lenin Moreno in Ecuador and Juan Orlando Hernández in Honduras, which destroy democracy and social rights that have been won.

Support the Honduran people for their persistent and courageous struggle in defence of their rights, against neoliberal policies and the corruption that characterizes neoliberalism, and in favour of the construction of an alternative that prioritizes the interests of the majority of the people. The struggle of the latter, led by the LIBRE party, is an example to be followed by those who suffer the disastrous consequences of neoliberalism.

Strongly condemn the permanent genocide committed by the governing ultra-right in Colombia against any organized expression of the social and popular movement, through the unacceptable systematic assassination of social leaders, former guerrilla fighters and their families. Demand, in addition, the freedom of Simón Trinidad and the ex-guerrilla fighters who remain in jail.

Demand that the Colombian government fully comply with the Peace Accords, which are vital to ensure that our continent continues to be a zone of peace. Likewise, we support the FARC party for its persistent defence of the Agreements and its compliance with them, which constitutes an invaluable contribution to the struggle for peace. To achieve this peace, we demand the immediate resumption of talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN).

Denounce the intervention of the United States in Nicaragua against the Sandinista Revolution, through an unacceptable coup attempt, defeated by the Nicaraguan people, whose right to peace must be defended by all. The United States will not succeed in defeating the heroic people of Sandino with economic sanctions

Offer all solidarity to the FMLN, whose membership and people are victims of aggression and revanchism on the part of the local right, at the service of the U.S., through the violation of rights that were won and to delegitimize them through the courts, as is happening with grave acts of political persecution and violation of human rights in Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina. The imprisonment of Lula and Jorge Glas demonstrates this, as well as the judicial persecution of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Rafael Correa and Ricardo Patiño. And we demand the freedom of all political prisoners.

Support the candidacy of Evo Morales and Álvaro García Linera in Bolivia, who with the support of the majority of their people are betting on developing the "Bicentennial Agenda" in their fourth term of office, with the objective of settling the outstanding historical debts of the 19th and 20th centuries and facing the tasks of the 21st century in conditions of economic independence and full political sovereignty.

Support the proposal of Daniel Martínez for president and Graciela Villar for vice-president of Uruguay, whose triumph would guarantee the continuity of the policies in favour of the Uruguayan people, and the laws that benefit historically neglected sectors such as domestic workers, rural workers or trans people. And the defence of sovereignty and democracy in Uruguay that governments of the Frente Amplio are carrying out.

Support the popular movement in Argentina that has managed to form a unitary alliance in the Frente de Todos, which has Alberto Fernández as its candidate for president and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as its candidate for vice-president, to confront Macrism and its policies of hunger, indebtedness, repression and the surrender of sovereignty in the next electoral contest in October. The defeat of Macri and neoliberalism in Argentina would be a triumph for Our American integration and would once again encourage struggles and resistance in the rest of the countries.

Reject Washington's policy of criminalizing emigrants, especially those from Central America. In this sense, we condemn and reject the immigration control agreement between the United States and the government of Guatemala, a country whose sovereignty is violated and whose territory, with such an agreement, would be transformed into a virtual prison for those who wish to enter the United States; and their intention to do the same with Mexico.

Support the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose triumph, with massive popular participation, demonstrated that there is no end to the progressive cycle; it opened up perspectives of change in favour of the great majorities with the programme of the Fourth Transformation and could give a new impulse to the processes of the autonomous and sovereign regional integration of our peoples, in keeping with the principles of the self-determination of peoples, non-intervention and the peaceful solution of conflicts.

Reject all forms of racism, social discrimination and discrimination based on sexual orientation. In this sense, support the agenda of struggle for the rights of the LGBTTI community.

Demand respect for the human rights of women, violated by neoliberal policies. Defend the role of Latin American and Caribbean women as fundamental builders of emancipatory change processes, as well as of active resistance to the neoliberal counteroffensive and the loss of rights that have been won. Support the massive feminist mobilizations underway in the continent. Without the contribution of women it will be impossible to advance towards the true independence of our nations. Understand that the struggle for gender equality can only succeed if we take up the struggle for class equality. Only by banishing capitalism will it be possible to eliminate patriarchy.

Condemn all forms of discrimination and violence against women, exclusion, the trafficking of women and girls, sexual exploitation, femicide, and demand greater support and protection of women's sexual and reproductive rights.

Condemn drug trafficking, human trafficking and terrorism in all its forms.

Defend access to water as a human right and as a right of peoples to develop their agricultural activity, a source of wealth and work that ensures food sovereignty, as well as defend the environment, land and territories.

Support the demands of the Caribbean Island States to be compensated for the damage caused by slavery.

Demand the unconditional, total and definitive end of the U.S. government's criminal and increased economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, which constitutes the main obstacle to the economic and social development of the country and a flagrant and massive violation of the human rights of Cubans. As part of their siege of Cuba, along with other hostile measures, they are applying the Helms Burton Act and have activated Title III, ...

Demand the return of the territory occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base to Cuba.

Support Argentina's historic claim to sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, Argentine Antarctica and the surrounding maritime areas. Also challenge the agreement known as "Foradori-Duncan" between the current government of Argentina and the United Kingdom that was concluded in September 2016.

Support the right of Bolivia's sovereign return to the Pacific Ocean through the dialogue between the Chilean and Bolivian peoples, and the achievement of an agreement based on solidarity that will allow Bolivia access to a sea and might make an improvement in the lives of the population possible by facilitating the exploitation of maritime resources, the export of organic products and an encounter with cultures from around the world through a sovereign port.

Defend, respect and guarantee the rights and culture of Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples.

Demand the decolonization of the Caribbean and firm support for the Independence of Puerto Rico. We salute the multitudinous demonstrations of the Puerto Rican people against the corruption of the colonial and annexationist administration of Ricardo Rosselló and in defence of borinqueña dignity.

Demand the immediate release of Lula, victim of an abusive, illegal and outrageous exercise of judicial power against him.

Reject the U.S. empire's policy of describing Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela as members of a so-called axis of evil.

Defend, as one of the central objectives of the São Paulo Forum, the construction of anti-imperialist anti-neoliberal unity as the tactic and strategy for victory, in defence of sovereignty, independence, democracy, self-determination and human rights in Our America, with real political leadership by its peoples.

The entire political spectrum of the São Paulo Forum is a prioritized target of the destabilizing strategy aimed at defeating left, popular and progressive governments, destroying their political and social forces, and criminalizing and prosecuting their leaders and social protest.

The São Paulo Forum's identity -- we reaffirm it -- must continue to be anti-imperialist and anti-neoliberal, with militant support for all left-wing, popular and progressive governments that are under siege, and support for the just causes of the peoples.

"Actions speak louder than words." Based on this maxim of Martí, we propose to concentrate the efforts of the São Paulo Forum in the following main directions in the coming months:

-- Strengthen [São Paulo Forum] as an instance of concerted efforts, cooperation and mutual solidarity among our parties and social movements. To this end, it will be fundamental to support, as a new occasion for global exchange, the Anti-Imperialist Encounter of Solidarity, for Democracy and against Neoliberalism that will take place in Havana, Cuba, between the 1st and 3rd of next November, as agreed by the Working Group in Managua. Likewise, we call for transforming the regional secretariats of the São Paulo Forum into much more effective instruments of coordination and communication among our members.

-- Multiply the actions of mutual solidarity with initiatives that demonstrate the strength of our organizations and peoples. In this area, we propose to increase active solidarity with the peoples and governments of the left that are the subject of stepped-up stalking by the United States and the continental right. At the same time, we call for making solidarity with all the leaders of the left who are currently imprisoned or persecuted a matter of principle. The case of Lula shows what we can do in that sense.

-- Turn the tasks of improving political communication and training of our cadres and militants into prioritized fronts of work by means of coordinated actions among our forces, as agreed by the Working Group in Managua. Resume the study and updating of the Consensus of Our America that condenses the values and programmatic guidelines shared by this Forum, which will be an opportune time for the bases to debate and enrich it.

Hasta la victoria siempre!

(Translation from the original Spanish by Internationalist 360°, edited for publication by TML.)

This article was published in

Volume 49 Number 25 - August 31, 2019

Article Link:
25th São Paulo Forum: Final Declaration - Caracas, Venezuela - July 28, 2019


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