At its third Continental Coordination Meeting “Colombia’s Peace is the Continent’s Peace” held 27, 28 and 29 May in Bogotá , a gathering attended by delegates from social and political organizations from 21 countries of Our America, the Coordination of Social Movements towards Alba declares its total and unconditional support for the Peace Process. This is underway between the Colombian government and the insurgent groups FARC-EP and the ELN and is the result of the heroic and untiring efforts of the Colombian people to find a political solution to the social, political and armed conflict of the last 60 years. We similarly support the negotiations initiated by various Colombian popular movement such as the Cumbre Agraria, Campesina, Étnica y Popular (Popular, Ethnic, Small Producers and Popular Agrarian Summit); La Mesa Social para La Paz (Social Table for Peace) and the Frente Amplia por la Paz (Broad Front for Peace) to meet the challenge of building a Colombia at Peace with Social and Environmental Justice as demanded by our continent.
Our pro-peace stand is taken in the context of the imperialist offensive headed by the United States against progressive and revolutionary governments; an offensive unleashed after t victories of political and popular forces. In Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti these victories challenged the neo-liberal model and put forward proposals for development and national resistance. In 2005 these led to the FTAA’s defeat by revealing very deep fissures in US domination , its transnational companies and its local oligarchic regimes which operated as the Empires protectorates.
The attack by Colombian and US forces on the FARC-EP camp in Sucumbíos (Ecuador) on 1 March 2008 unleashed a military offensive which is still going on, the aim being to surround Venezuela and to destabilize the progressive processes in the region. The most obvious sign of the militarization of our continent and of US intentions to recolonize the hemisphere with fire and sword is shown by the reactivation of the Fourth Fleet and the installation of many military bases. The “soft” coups carried out in Honduras, Paraguay and recently in Brazil are the result of a combination of large scale military actions, economic sabotage and media plots, which, violating all legality, seek to derail the Latin American integration process and the democratization of our countries.
The magnitude of this imperialist global offensive is completely related to the challenge represented by the Bolivarian revolution led by Comandante Hugo Chávez who challenged and challenges US domination and that of its transnational companies and local oligarchies. Faced with the victory in Mar del Plata by the peoples against its annexationist FTAA scheme, the United States, in its eagerness to regain control over the region and surround the BRIC countries, is seeking to crown its economic and military offensive by imposing its so-called free trade schemes such as the TPP-TTIP-TISA , which, if passed, would be even more destructive than the FTAA itself.
The consequences of the neoconservative offensive are demonstrated by Mauricio Macri´s government in Argentina. It is following the old neo-liberal recipe of structural adjustments and privatization, with the intention of making the working class and the popular sectors bear the burden of the crisis by throwing more than 200,000 out of work in less than six months, creating more than 40% inflation, lowering wages and criminalizing protest. These are formulas that are being repeated in all the countries in the Pacific Alliance. Another example of the destruction of the social gains and the advances in the peoples’ self-determination can be found in the parliamentary coup which the Brazilian right, headed by Michel Temer –one of the most corrupt figures in continental politics– is using to kidnap the presidency against the will of more than 54 million Brazilians who still recognise Dilma Rousseff as their legitimate president.
The people have not hesitated in giving their answer; the cases of Argentina and Brazil demonstrate the strength of social and popular movements which will not allow the neo-liberal model to return. Indeed, more than 300,000 workers and about 100,000 students have mobilised in the last few weeks and the Frente Brasil Popular (Brazil Popular Front) has taken over the streets calling for a general strike on 10 June in defence of Democracy and against the attempted coup.
We fully understand that although the right has again taken the initiative on this continent, this is no way implies imperialism´s victory over our lands, neither does it wipe out the gains made by Latin American peoples and progressive governments, gains which transformed regional reality in the 21st century. We cannot ignore the fact that a new continental political subject has arisen, who, acknowledging the legacy of Bolívar, Martí and those who brought about our first independence, is accepting the banner of Latin American integration from the hand of Comandante Hugo Chávez who made socialism the strategic goal for the liberation of our peoples .
We know that mistakes have been made, we have to acknowledge the limitations of the neo-developmentalist projects which did not manage to break dependence on the global market and exporting rentism and which, in many cases, made it possible for a extractionist and agroexporting model to gain ground, a model which causes only the loss of our territories, the degradation of mother earth and the displacement of indigenous, peasant and Black communities. Recent years have made it obvious that the tactic of class conciliation as a way to become the government via an exclusively electoral route does not guarantee real social transformation.
We recognise that the peoples and their community organizations are the transformative force which opened the door to progressive and revolutionary governments. The bulwark of our peoples ‘liberation process lies in popular power and in the new forms of citizenship, in the communities that arose around gender struggles, struggles for sexual diversity, feminist, indigenous, peasant, Black, workers and young peoples’ struggles, all of which are building alternatives that go beyond the neo-liberal model and the capitalist system.
As Our American Social and Popular Movements we declare:
· We defend our sister Venezuela and the valiant Bolivarian people from any attempt at imperialist intervention. We reject the attempts by the OAS to apply the democratic charter, we demand Obama’s decree be repealed and that the transnational companies´economic cease.
· No the coup in Brazil! We do not recognise Michel Temer´s illegitimate and coup-imposed government and we defend Brazilian democracy.
· We support the Honduran people in it search for justice in the case of the assassination of our compañera Berta Cáceres and we condemn the persecution of journalists and the illegal closures of independent media which aim to silence the voices of those who criticize Juan O. Hernandez’ regime.
· We demand that MINUSTAH leave Haiti and all Latin American troops be removed from that country. We also demand payments of reparations to the Haitian people for the humanitarian crisis caused by so many years of intervention.
· We give our support to Bolivia´s demand for Maritime Sovereignty and to that for reparations for the economic and historical damages caused by the diversion of the Silala.
· We demand that the 43 Ayotzinapa student teachers kidnapped by Peña Neto´s government be produced alive and we also demand the repeal of educational reforms.
· We are in solidarity with the Mapuche people´s historical demand for territorial sovereignty and self-determination.
· The Argentinian people´s claim of sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands is our claim too.
· We demand that all Yankee and NATO military bases get out of our region.
· We support the social struggles against Big Mining in Peru and all of Our America.
· We condemn the new US anti-drug law which attacks our people´s sovereignty and criminalizes small and medium sized producers of coca, marijuana and poppies.
· We insist on an end to the US economic blockade of Cuba and that Guantánamo prison be closed.
· We support the Popular, Ethnic, Agrarian and Peasant Minga (collective work initiative, attitude) which launched mobilizations in the context of the National Agrarian Strike which took place 30 May in Colombia in the face of the Colombian government´s repeated broken promises.
· We roundly condemn the use of femicide as a strategy for demobilizing communities and social movements.
· We are in solidarity with the struggle of Black communities in the United States and Canada.
· We back the struggle of the Ngab-Bugle people against the Barro Blanco dam. We also support the peasant communities which are struggling against displacement in the Matusagarati wetlands and in the basin of the Indio and Trinidad rivers to make room for the Panama Canal expansion.
· We support Citizen Revolution´s government and people in Ecuador in its desire to rebuild the provinces affected by the earthquake.
· We condemn the US colonial regime ruling over the Puerto Rican people and we express our displeasure with the humiliation entailed by the Fiscal Control Board.
· We shall continue struggling for Oscar López’ freedom and for that of all the political prisoners in Latin America and the Caribbean
· We demand the repeal of any anti-terrorist laws in our countries which criminalize social protest.
FOR PEACE AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE PEOPLE IN OUR AMERICA
UNITY, STRUGGLE, BATTLE AND VICTORY
THEY SHALL NOT PASS!!!
WE SHALL WIN!!!
Read also: Unrest in Colombia