Elio Delgado Legon
HAVANA TIMES – The 24th edition of the Sao Paulo Forum is being held in Havana from July 15-17. It brings together leaders, former presidents and social leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean, with the aim of uniting ideas and efforts. The goal is to put an end to the International Right’s counter-revolutionary offensive within the region today, which is being directed and financed by US Imperialism, who has decided that it wants to recover the ground it has lost over recent years.
The Sao Paulo Forum is a space for dialogue, which was created in 1990 as a result of the Permanent Conference of Political Parties of Latin America and the Caribbean (COPPAL), organized by Brazil’s Workers’ Party, bringing to life an initiative created by its president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the Cuban Revolution’s historic leader Fidel Castro.
This is the second time that the Forum is held in Havana, the first time was when the 4th Meeting took place in 1993 when Fidel Castro told the Latin American Left: “We won’t have any future without unity and integration.”
Today, this reality is even clearer as we are seeing the Latin American Right (who have sold out to Imperialism) turn to coup attempts, buying off legal powers so that they act against Leftist leaders, even when they still haven’t defined their political agenda, which some voters could see as a good thing, because they are unable to reach power by the channels offered by a representative democracy.
Examples of this litigation process in Latin American politics include the parliamentary coup against Dilma Rousseff and the unfounded charges and prison sentence against Lula da Silva; accusations against Cristina Fernandez, Fernando Lugo and Rafael Correa. And when they have been unable to use this strategy, like in Venezuela and Nicaragua, they then resort to violence in order to destabilize the government, creating a climate of chaos and death so that they can then accuse the government of police repression and encourage foreign intervention.
Latin America’s neoliberal Right have everything going for them: they have enough money to ram political propaganda down voters’ throats; they own the country’s main media platforms and yet they still have to resort to using the above-mentioned methods because they lack popular support. Therefore, if the Left were to take intelligent action and stand together on a common front, making their political agenda known, which is based on benefitting the masses of workers (which are the majority in every country), then they will never be defeated at the polls.
This is what the current Sao Paulo Forum’s objective is, to the best of my understanding, to get every Leftist leader in the region, from different parties and social groups to understand the need right now to stand together on a common front in every country and put the most capable leaders forward for elections, who can defend policies with everyone’s social wellbeing at heart, especially the most vulnerable and workers, because a political system that benefits workers, benefits all of society.
Today, we can repeat Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s words when he said at the 4th meeting in 1993: “The least we can do and the least the Latin American Left can do is create awareness in favor of unity. This needs to be written on the Left’s banners. With socialism and without socialism.”