September 1, 2018 - No. 29
24th São Paulo Forum
Latin America and the Caribbean: We Continue Fighting
Today, 28 years after the founding of the São
Latin America and the Caribbean are experiencing the effects of a
multifaceted reactionary, conservative, neo-liberal restoration
offensive, the result of a convergence of interests and the
concerted efforts of the global elite of transnational capitalism,
with the government of the United States of America as its
hegemonic nucleus, and the allied ruling classes of our
This multifaceted offensive has managed to set back the
and progressive forces by overthrowing governments and with
parliamentary and judicial coups. The imperial right and their
subordinated oligarchies have amplified the errors and
limitations of the transforming forces, which have suffered
setbacks but at the same time possess immense potential for the
fight. This basically explains the adverse change in the
prevailing correlation of forces in today's scenario.
It is the sovereign prerogative of each country's
parties and social movements to examine the nature and gravity of
their mistakes and insufficiencies.
The military and parliamentary coup against Zelaya in
Honduras (2009); the parliamentary coup against Lugo in Paraguay
(2012); the electoral defeat of the Front for Victory in
Argentina (2015); the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil
(2016) with a "parliamentary, judicial and media coup"; the
victory of conservative or ultraconservative right-wing figures
in Chile, Paraguay and Colombia; the conviction without evidence
and imprisonment of Lula to prevent his candidacy for the
presidency of the Republic of Brazil; the conspicuous divisions
in the people's forces faced with the restored neo-liberal
agendas; the discrediting of politics, which in important
countries of the region favours the plans of the right, and the
public strengthening in several countries of figures and projects
with fascist roots, constitute, among many other things,
indicators of the neo-liberal offensive that the left forces are
challenged to reverse in favour of the peoples.
The actions of the right are directly related to the
expansionist and predatory nature of capitalism, and the
interests of finance capital that dominate it.
The facts speak for themselves: between the last
the São Paulo Forum (Managua (2017)) and this one in Havana,
there has been a deepening of the negative impacts of the
concentration of property, power, and wealth in the hands of a
global elite determined at all costs to impose more favourable
conditions for increasing their rate of profit.
This is confirmed by the destruction of nature, with
increasingly negative effects on the climate; in the attempts to
privatize public goods such as water, land and oil, and their
predatory use by transnational corporations; the attempts to
privatize public funds; the attack on labour and social rights;
the outrageous increase in inequity and inequality; the
destruction through war of the productive forces to boost
so-called key economies; the multiplication of migratory flows
and the suffering endured by millions of human beings who are
forced to emigrate, and the offensive against the national
sovereignty of our nations by transnational interests to
facilitate the free flow of capital.
These realities, aggravated by the dangerous actions of
Trump Administration, which seeks to reverse the trend of
declining U.S. hegemony, multiply the risks to world peace and the
status of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.
Latin America and the Caribbean will continue to be a priority for
U.S. foreign policy, given that its domination is of vital
importance for [the U.S.] quest to maintain an unsustainable
unipolar world order.
The USA and its allies need to consolidate the
that continental history has entered an unstoppable, regressive
phase in favour of capitalism. Although reaction against
progressive and left governments was immediate, the discrediting
and extreme weakening of the right-wing political parties used to
impose the neo-liberal restructuring disqualified them as
instruments capable of derailing the social transformations
driven, in different cases, by the political movements of the
Paulo Forum. Hence the need to resort to the destabilizing
strategy that combines media, legal and economic warfare,
external interference and the criminalization of social movements
and protests, among other things, to serve the coups of a new
type (judicial or parliamentary) or to bring about electoral
In the face of this reaction by imperialism and the
oligarchies against the progressive forces, we reject the notion
of "the end of the cycle" with the same firmness and conviction
that we did at the time of "the end of history." The progressive
forces of Latin America will continue fighting for a world based
on social justice.
The White House and its allies seek to achieve exactly
opposite: divide, co-opt, demobilize and generate discouragement.
That is sufficient reason for us to take up in word and deed the
unity of the left and popular forces to organize and fight.
Preserving the experiences of sovereignty, of the
of democracy and governments of a popular, anti-imperialist
character fostered by left and progressive parties; offering
determined support and encouragement for the emancipatory efforts
and anti-capitalist ideals of social and popular movements which
work for this; working boldly to consolidate lasting peace with
social justice and encouraging efforts that further the sovereign
integration of what Martí called Our America, have become
political imperatives and the tests of honour for the continental
In 1990 the São Paulo Forum emerged as a space
collective agreement and building of the Latin American and
Caribbean plural left in the face of an international situation
marked by the uncertainty and disorientation generated by the
disappearance of the USSR and the so-called socialist camp.
Today, following its tradition of critical reflection and
political formulation, it once again is dealing with the
challenge of critically examining the path taken, reuniting
forces and making renewed efforts to continue building the
consensus required by the offensive of the right that is
The political parties that are members of the
São Paulo Forum
come to this 24th Meeting with greater political experience,
which in turn is multiplied by the coordinating efforts of the
Forum, and fully aware that predatory capitalism is unable to
offer alternatives to humanity. It will spark popular rebellions
and the potential for transformative actions of progressive and
left forces if they reorganize, act along with the social
movements, train cadres and improve their projects for change,
with some of these having a clear socialist orientation. There
are enough examples in Latin American and Caribbean history that
prove that where there is unity, decisive and capable political
leadership, clear objectives of struggle and a combative spirit,
and roots in the popular classes, the options to contain and even
overcome any counterrevolutionary, conservative, neo-liberal
restorationist offensive are multiplied.
Giving in to defeatism; sponsoring or tolerating the
politics and sectarianism that emerge and proliferate in times of
setbacks; accepting or promoting the loss of confidence in the
political capacity of our exploited peoples today would not only
be an affront to the heroes and martyrs of the struggle for the
emancipation of the continent, but a gratuitous and unnecessary
concession to the USA and its international and local allies.
Faced with imperialism's plan of undermining the
of our nations and taking control of our natural resources, let
us oppose it with the emancipatory plan of our noble peoples,
with an authentic Latin American and Caribbean internationalist
spirit, with resolve and a non-negotiable sense of dignity.
Let us work to strengthen the struggles for justice and
social emancipation, for full political sovereignty and economic
independence, for the sovereignty of the peoples and world peace.
Reclaim the best emancipatory experiences of the social and
popular movements in the region!
In this context, from
Havana, Cuba, the delegates and guests
to the 24th Meeting of the São Paulo Forum, representing Latin
America and the Caribbean, Asia and Africa, Europe and North
I. Call for
strengthening the world movement in defence of
peace. The present reality demands adding more forces to exert
pressure by all possible means.
II. Note that
the representatives of big transnational
capital -- governmental and private, military and economic, media
and ideological -- are operating jointly more than we know. We
conclude, therefore, that all the forces of the left in Latin
America and the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Europe and North America
must exercise internationalism in a mutual and practical way.
III. Note with
concern how the imperial right operates in
concert in the UN Security Council; in favour of Zionism in the
Middle East; to militarily encircle Russia in Eurasia; to prevent
the People's Republic of China, in Asia, from continuing its
advance as a world economic power with proposals for peace and
cooperation; to destroy the social justice projects of a
democratic, Latin American and Caribbean internationalist nature
in Latin America that are advanced by our political forces; and
to impose divisions on the Caribbean by different means,
including colonial ones like in Puerto Rico.
the validity of the following causes and
guidelines set out by the 23rd Meeting of the São Paulo Forum
held last year in Managua:
- To make the defence of
CELAC [Community of Latin American and Caribbean States], the greatest
accomplishment of the last 200 years, a political priority to be
promoted by all our parties and social and popular movements, in
every school, university or space of intellectual activity. Just
sowing the idea of integration in the conscience of our peoples,
will in itself be an advance against the divisive policy pushed
by the United States and its allies. We trust in the worth of
just ideas: let us ensure that they are heard by each of the
governments of Our America.
- To make the resolute
defence of the tenets of the
Declaration of Latin America as a Zone of Peace the objective of
all the left and patriotic and democratic sectors of Latin
America and the Caribbean.
- Repudiation of the
militarism spawned in the bowels of
imperialism, which has no limits or scruples, is a political
necessity linked to the survival of our peoples. We reaffirm that
it is a matter of principle to give concrete expression to this
repudiation in every daily political act.
- To energetically reject
the absurd and unacceptable idea
that this region of the world belongs to the powerful elites of the
United States or any other country in the world. Let each day be
a concrete reminder for the White House of what was affirmed in
the Second Declaration of Havana: "... this great humanity has
said Enough! and has started walking. And its march of giants
will not stop until it wins true independence ... ."
- It is essential and
possible to organize in every available
international space any action that weakens the domination and
hegemony of the United States in our countries, without regard
for our secondary differences of a national or sectoral nature.
The Empire has chosen to prioritize the components of a culture
war and a war of symbols. Let us respond by going on the
offensive by rescuing each of our country's traditions of
freedom. Let us honour those who forged them. Let us prevent the
cultural banality of the North that looks down on us from being
imposed on the rich history of the countries we represent.
- To know how the
international right is implementing its
destabilization plans against the emancipatory government and
peoples' experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean is
vitally necessary. This will be more effective if we create a
solid system of exchanging collective information and
experiences. The São Paulo Forum can play a central role in this
area, particularly through its political education efforts.
Like the delegates to the 23rd Meeting in Managua, and
convey that the following remain valid causes:
- We reaffirm the importance
of the rapprochement and
concerted action between the European left and the Latin American
and Caribbean left. We commit ourselves in this new stage to
make the united anti-imperialist actions of both regions more
systematic and effective. The [Party of the European Left] and
the São Paulo Forum are in a position to make this goal
- We denounce, this time for
additional reasons, the
interventionist role of the OAS [Organization of American
States], which continues to be used by the government of the
United States as its Ministry of Colonies. The actions of its
secretary general, marked by a despicable subordination to the
interests of the White House, proves this every day. The OAS,
together with the Lima Group, are today's Trojan Horses against
Latin American and Caribbean unity. Let us do everything possible
to prevent them from continuing their destructive advance.
- We condemn the
non-conventional broad-spectrum war being
waged by Yankee imperialism and its European, Latin American and
Caribbean allies against the Bolivarian Revolution which for the
White House has become the immediate strategic objective to
defeat. Let it be for us, therefore, the greatest objective of
solidarity in these circumstances. Just like a year ago in
Managua, the Forum of São Paulo remains on alert and in constant
internationalist solidarity against international intervention in
- We maintain our solidarity
with the Argentinians,
Brazilians, Hondurans and Paraguayans who refuse to accept going
back to neo-liberalism in their respective countries, after
experiences with governments that, following their own paths,
sought economic growth, the best redistribution of wealth, the
guarantee of social rights, the expansion of popular
participation and democracy, ensuring national sovereignty and
strengthening regional integration within the BRICS, all to
combat social, regional and gender inequalities and racism, or
that simply challenged with their foreign policy the hegemonic
logic of U.S. foreign policy.
- We reaffirm our unwavering
conviction in support of peace,
in accordance with the Declaration of CELAC, which in January
2014 declared Latin America a zone of peace. For this reason, we
support the request of Colombian political and social forces for
the Colombian government to comply with the implementation of the
Havana Agreements, keep the process of dialogue with the ELN [National
Liberation Army] open
and take real steps to end the assassination of former combatants
and social, political, environmental and human rights defenders.
We denounce the actions of the national and international ultra
right to boycott peace. It is evident that the White House,
international Zionism and the most backward forces of the
continent persist in getting the oligarchic groups of Colombia to
continue being a shock troop for transnational interests in South
America. The fight against this strategy, which already finds one
of the CELAC countries as a member of the aggressive NATO [North
Atlantic Treaty Organization], is
- We strongly reject the
interventionist policy of the United
States in the internal affairs of Sandinista Nicaragua, a country
in which the formula that is being applied by U.S. imperialism to
countries that do not respond to its hegemonic interests is being
implemented, causing violence, destruction and death through the
manipulation and destabilizing action of terrorist groups of the
right-wing coup forces, who boycott the search for dialogue, the
best way to overcome the current crisis and achieve the peace
that is essential for the continuation of the process of social
transformation promoted by the FSLN [Sandinista National Liberation
Front] through the government headed
by Commander Daniel Ortega that has significantly reduced poverty
and social inequality in that sister country.
- We stand in solidarity
with the Farabundo Martí National
Liberation Front and with the government of compañero President
Salvador Sánchez Cerén, who are energetically facing a
judicial warfare, an economic boycott and other forms of
destabilization, and we commit ourselves to accompany them as
international observers in the presidential election of February
- The 24th Meeting of the
São Paulo Forum calls on and
encourages Bolivia and Chile to find a solution to Bolivia's
landlocked situation based on dialogue and international law that
contributes to the true integration of our peoples, respecting
both countries' sensitivities.
- We renew the São
Paulo Forum's rejection of the White House
policy which criminalizes Latin American and Caribbean emigrants
and, in particular, the Central American brothers and sisters. A
world without borders and with universal citizenship is what
guides our emancipatory struggle.
- We reject any form of
racism, intolerance and
discrimination. We promote the full exercise of the economic,
cultural, social and political rights of women, and the
elimination of patriarchal culture.
- We demand the withdrawal
of MINUSTAH [United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti] forces
a mandate from the anti-democratic UN Security Council, have
occupied Haiti for more than a decade.
- We condemn drug
trafficking, human trafficking and
terrorism, and denounce the double standards of a system that
claims to fight organized crime, while protecting its big
promoters and main responsible parties. We defend the legal
cultivation and traditional beneficial use of the coca leaf.
- We proclaim access to
water and other common goods
(land, clean air, energy, etc.) as a human right, we fight
against the despoliation of the environment, the threat to
biodiversity and the ecosystem in general.
- We support the demands of
the small island states of the
Caribbean to be compensated for the human damage caused by
slavery, and to access resources that permit their resilience in
the face of climate change.
- We demand the
unconditional, total and definitive lifting
of the economic, financial and commercial blockade of the United
States government against Cuba, and compensation to the Cuban
people for the damages caused by more than half a century of
aggression of all kinds.
- We demand the return to
the people of Cuba of the territory
occupied by the illegal U.S. naval base in Guantánamo.
- We support Argentina's
historical claim on the sovereignty
of the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
- We demand the elimination
of all the U.S. military bases that
exist in the region (77 in total, which together with the Fourth
Fleet cover the entire region), and of all foreign military
bases of any country, wherever they may be.
- We defend the rights and
cultures of the Indigenous peoples
and Afro-descendants, and take up their struggles for the
restitution and full exercise of their historical rights.
- We demand the total
decolonization of the Caribbean and in
particular support the independence of Puerto Rico on July 25,
2018, one hundred and twenty years after the U.S. military
invasion of this Caribbean nation. We also pronounce ourselves in
favour of the elimination of all forms of colonialism and
- We support, adhering to
the self-determination of the
peoples, the nomination of President Evo Morales --
constitutionally empowered and supported by the American
Convention [on Human Rights] -- for the 2019 elections, and we reject
destabilizing plans promoted by the right of that country, the
OAS and the embassy of the United States.
- We stand in solidarity
with compañero Rafael Correa
Delgado, a popular and progressive leader of our region. As a
result of a rupture in the rule of law and due process,
Rafael is also a victim of political persecution and use of the
justice system as an instrument of revenge and intimidation,
which we reject. The international arrest warrant that was issued
against him outrages us.
- We greet the democratic
and resounding triumph in Mexico of
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, elected to the Presidency of
Republic. The triumph of MORENA, a member of the São Paulo
opens hope for the dreams and struggles of the peoples of Our
America. United We Will Make History.
- We demand immediate
freedom for Lula, following his conviction
and imprisonment without evidence, and his right to be a
presidential candidate in the October elections in Brazil,
respecting the will of the majority of the Brazilian people. Free
Lula! Lula is Innocent! Lula President!
V. As we did a
year ago, we reaffirm that Latin America and
the Caribbean are still fighting and maintaining their resolve to
act with optimism, decisively and on a more unified basis.
Hasta La Victoria Siempre!
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