A presentation on the unity and solidarity of Latin America was organized Aug. 1 in East Boston by Workers World/Mundo Obrero Party and the Boston Bolivarians.
Berta Joubert-Ceci, a Puerto Rican activist who is editor of WW/MO and a member of the WWP National Committee, presented an interesting analysis of popular movements in the region, highlighting the need to strengthen their ties to the community and their interdependence with progressive governments to guarantee the continuity and progress of the forces of change in Latin America. “Governments and leaders may change, but the foundations and social organizations must be the real guarantee” of this continuity, said the Workers World editor.
Boston Bolivarian member Vanesa Matamoros presented the concrete achievements of regional governments through new international organizations that have been created in the last 10 years — ALBA-TCP in 2004 (regional integration), UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) in 2005, Petrocaribe (oil) in 2008, CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) in 2010 — and the new stage of MERCOSUR (common market), with Venezuela as president from 2013. She emphasized the influence and effectiveness of these organizations in strengthening regional solidarity and unity of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Both presentations showed the indisputable advances that now permit Latin America to set an example for the world, which can learn from these experiences. These issues are covered within the program of the Venezuelan homeland designed by Hugo Chávez, in which he presented the fourth historic objective of building a multicentric and multipolar world, along with strategies contributing to a new international geopolitics of balance and peace.
In relation to international organizations in Our America driven forward by the courage of Chávez, Matamoros showed concrete achievements where financial instruments that have replaced the International Monetary Fund — such as the Bank of the South, with over $20 billion, and the ALBA Bank — have provided resources for projects in areas such as communications (Telesur, AlbaTv, AlbaMultiCanal), medicine (AlbaMed) and environment (Eco-Alba), among others.
She also highlighted the role of the new regional currency, called the sucre, which was used in over $650 million in transactions among the ALBA countries in 2012.
Organizations such as ALBA, with eight countries, and Petrocaribe, with 18, have managed to imprint the strength of solidarity and social justice on the other organizations. Without the presence of the United States and Canada, UNASUR, with 12 member countries, and CELAC, with 33, are the new alliances that have eliminated the Free Trade Area of the Americas and weakened the grip of the Organization of American States and IMF in the region.
These organizations took a leading political role in decisive actions — to stand up against coups in Honduras and Paraguay, to support the legitimacy of the Maduro government in Venezuela and to overwhelmingly reject the recent attack on Bolivian President Evo Morales (when U.S. allies in Europe prevented his plane from overflying their territory).
The audience of people from different latitudes contributed various reflections and questions. They noted the dangerous role Colombia plays that harms the solidarity of the union. In addition, representatives of Haiti participated and reviewed the historical significance of their people in building solidarity and liberation in the region.
The Boston Bolivarian group can be contacted by phone at 617-819-HUGO (4846) or by email at [email protected] or followed on twitter @bbolivarians.
Translated from Spanish by John Catalinotto.