Final Declaration of the 2018 Peoples’ Summit in Lima, Peru

Venezuela was a hot topic at the gathering of Latin American social movements.

Popular movements from across the hemisphere voiced solidarity with Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil's Lula da Silva, and a multitude of other global grassroots struggles
Popular movements from across the hemisphere voiced solidarity with Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil's Lula da Silva, and a multitude of other global grassroots struggles

Hundreds of popular organisations and social movements from across Latin America and the Caribbean met this past weekend in the Summit of the Peoples in Lima, Peru.

The summit is a regular parallel to the official Summit of the Americas, which brings together governments from the entire Western Hemisphere.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s boycott of the governmental summit following his controversial banning by the government in Lima did not however dissuade a colourful and multifaceted Venezuelan delegation from attending the parallel summit, with representatives from Venezuela’s leftist political parties, indigenous peoples, campesinos, community groups, feminist organizations, youth outfits, among others present at the gathering.

Alongside issues like the ongoing blockade against Cuba, former Brazilian President Lula da Silva’s imprisonment, the US-led bombing of Syria, the wave of femicides in Latin America, and the rightward turn of the Lenin Moreno administration in Ecuador, Venezuela was high on the agenda of most social movements attending amid an escalating offensive against the country by Washington and its regional right-wing allies.

Here Venezuelanalysis brings you the final declaration of the 2018 Peoples’ Summit direct from Peru, Lima, in which the popular movements present express their solidarity with Venezuela.

Final Declaration of the 2018 Peoples’ Summit

We, the representatives of social and popular organizations of Peru, Latin America and the Caribbean, have met in Lima / Peru from April 10 to 14, 2018 to discuss the political, social and economic reality of our America, to share our struggles and resistance, to strengthen the militant solidarity of our peoples and the continental unity of the social and popular movements of our region.

The movements which find themselves here again include union organizations that fight for the defense of the labour rights of the working class, trade associations, feminist organizations that fight for gender equality, youth and student organizations that defend the rights of youth as a leading actor, campesino organizations that continue to fight for the right to land, indigenous organizations that resist the onslaught of savage capitalism, environmental organizations that confront the predatory extractive model, organizations that defend the rights of sexual diversity, community organizations that fight for the rights of the citizenship, regional platforms that face neoliberal free trade projects, organizations that fight for fiscal justice, regional networks of civil society and dozens of collectives and movements that struggle day to day against political power and economic capital in its different expressions.

We find ourselves once again in a scenario of confrontation and frontal struggle in our America, between the forces of neoconservatism of the submissive elites and the social, popular, progressive and left forces. We are living through a counter-offensive of the imperial power that tries to erase the democratic advances and those of social and political inclusion that progressive governments have promoted in this last decade and a half.

In Peru, the expression of these neoconservative forces trying to regain hegemony is an illegitimate summit that is not the expression of Latin American and Caribbean citizenship which has met in the framework of the VIII Summit of the Americas. The heads of states come to talk about governance and corruption in a country in which all Peruvian presidents of the past 30 years have outstanding accounts with the justice system for crimes committed whilst in power. They want to continue with their corrupt policies by now promoting the Public-Private Partnerships to follow their dark negotiations.

In this scenario, the popular organizations of Peru, united in the Unitary National Combat of Struggle (CNUL) front and the General Confederation of Workers of Peru (CGTP) called on the social and popular movements of our America to meet us in the framework of the Summit of the Peoples, in order to advance in the social articulation to face the neoliberal model in the continent.

The Peoples’ Summit has been the ideal framework to have important debates, exchange experiences, strengthen the solidarity of our struggles and generally maintain the spirit of resistance and fight against capitalism. The neoliberal airs blow again in the continent, the policies to advance the precariousness and deregulation of employment are generalized, progress in dismantling public pension schemes, promoting austerity policies aimed at dismantling social protection programs, negotiations are revived for new Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Therefore, the agenda of the continental resistance against neoliberalism also must become strong again around these following points:

– We call on social movements to face the onslaught against the working conditions and rights of the working class in the continent, we reject the neoliberal policies that promote precariousness and labor deregulation, we demand decent /meaningful work.

– We oppose neoliberal austerity measures aimed at reducing public investment in assistance and social protection programs.

– We reject the calls to privatize public retirement schemes to deliver the resources of millions of workers to private corporate interests.

– We continue to reject the Free Trade Agreements and the Investment Protection Treaties, which are instruments in favour of transnational corporate power and against our peoples.

– The right to land is today more than ever the inalienable right of our native peoples and peasants, the land must be for those who work it.

– We condemn sexist violence and the logic of impunity with femicides that are dangerously becoming a widespread practice in our continent. In our agenda, we prioritize the struggle for gender equality. Without equality of wages for women, without parity in political participation, without equal access to decent jobs, without respect for their sexual and reproductive rights, we will have societies that are neither equal, nor democratic, nor inclusive.

– We condemn the criminalization of social protest that has become widespread in our countries, causing dozens of victims of social activists.

– We continue to fight against the extractive logic of our economies and to modify the productive matrix of our countries.

– We call to face the strengthening of religious fundamentalism that, in alliance with capital, aims to return our America to dark times.

– We reject the use of justice systems as instruments of political persecution against progressive leaders in Latin America.

We express our unwavering solidarity with fellow President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, who today faces the whole apparatus of the illegalisation of politics and the hatred of the Brazilian elites for being the reference point of the oppressed and excluded.

What happens with Comrade Lula is the expression of the fascist-like turn in Brazil as a result of the parliamentary coup against Dilma Russeff. Today we are Lula and Brazil.

We reaffirm our unwavering solidarity with the people of Martí, Che, Fidel, Raúl, the heroic Cuban people and their glorious revolution. The Cuban revolution continues to be, in spite of the aggressions and the difficulties, the best example of dignity, which makes it an example to follow. We demand therefore the end of the criminal economic, financial and commercial blockade of the United States against Cuba as strongly demanded by the General Assembly of the United Nations, as well as the immediate return of the territory illegally occupied by the US military base in Guantanamo.

We reaffirm our unwavering solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela. We strongly condemn imperialist aggression, economic war and political harassment against Bolivarian Venezuela. We demand respect for the sovereignty of the homeland of the Venezuelan people who, since 1999, initiated a popular constituent process that has marked the path of a reference of anti-imperialist struggle for Latin American unity and for our American socialism. We express our support for President Nicolás Maduro, successor of the historic project promoted by Commander Chávez, and we demand the cessation of illegitimate and unilateral sanctions against the Bolivarian people, we reject the intent of military intervention in Venezuela under the pretext of humanitarian aid, and we demand non-interference in the upcoming elections of May 20 and respect for the sovereignty and self-determination of our peoples.

We reaffirm our solidarity with the Bolivian revolutionary process led by our comrade Evo Morales. We reaffirm our support for the historic claim of the Bolivian people, for a sovereign exit to the Pacific Ocean, we ask that the peoples of Chile and Bolivia urge their governments to reach a peaceful resolution through dialogue.

The Citizen Revolution led by comrade Rafael Correa has shown the world that progressive processes can make transformations that put the human being above capital, shown that the redistribution of wealth, the defense of sovereignty and the respect and protection of rights human beings are fundamental to achieve the society of good living. From the Summit of the Peoples, we expressed our concern about any regression in the achievements made in Ecuador and, above all, any restoration of neoliberal postulates linked to the interference of the State Department of the United States.

We reject the racist and xenophobic policies of Donald Trump towards our brothers and sisters in Mexico, who in addition to suffering from their corrupt political elite and the consequences of neoliberalism, repression and corruption, must deal with the construction of a WALL against them. We oppose the criminalization of migration; migration is a right.

Haiti was the first cry of freedom and independence in Our America. MINUSTAH has left hundreds of victims with diseases, rapes, murders. We ask for the historical compensation for the damages of this occupation and we denounce its new mask that bears the name of MINUJUST.

We greet and send a fraternal embrace to comrade Oscar López Rivera, who has won his freedom with coherence and dignity. But with this victory the fight is not over, we will continue in the anti-colonial battle for a free Puerto Rico!

We are still asking for justice for Berta Cáceres. We condemn the brazen electoral fraud of 2018 that perpetuates José Orlando Hernández in power. We send our solidarity to the hundreds of thousands of Hondurans who have demonstrated and continue to resist the repression of the dictatorship.

We demand from the Colombian government the real implementation of the Havana Peace Accords, the continuation of negotiations with the ELN and the immediate freedom of peace negotiator Jesús Santrich, of Simón Trinidad, prisoner in the United States for 14 years, and of the thousands of political prisoners still in Colombian jails. We also denounce the murder of more than 300 social leaders in the last two years, and we urge the government to protect their lives.

Our solidarity with the Argentine people who today resist the onslaught of the neoliberal policies of Mauricio Macri. We do not forget Santiago Maldonado, who disappeared and was murdered in 2017, and Rafael Nahuel, the child massacred by the police. We demand the freedom of Milagro Sala and all those persecuted by the judiciary-media.

From the Summit of the Peoples we condemn the military aggression of US imperialism against the Syrian people; we call to promote actions of condemnation in the US embassies for this murderous action. All our solidarity with the brother people of Syria.

Our solidarity with the struggle of the Mapuche people for their rights. We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people besieged and massacred constantly at the hands of imperialist Zionism. We sympathize and support the legitimate cause of the Saharawi people and their right to self-determination.

From the Peoples’ Summit we call on our member social movements to gather again in Buenos Aires / Argentina in the actions against the global imperial power that will be gathered in the framework of the G20 summit on November 30 and December 1. With special interest we call to participate in the Feminist Forum against the G20. In order to continue with the process of debates that we have held here in Lima, on the urgent need to promote the continental re-articulation of social movements.

We ratify here in Lima / Peru that the Peoples’ Summit is the space in which we find ourselves to reaffirm our solidarity, to exchange our experiences of resistance, to articulate our agendas of struggle, to strengthen the unity and organization of progressive social and popular movements and of the left in our America.

Long live the struggle of our people!
Long live the Peoples’ Summit!!

Editing by Venezuelanalysis.com.