MANAGUA, Nicaragua.— With the approval of the Our America Consensus, the first programmatic document stemming from the Sao Paulo Forum, leftist and progressive parties from Latin America and the Caribbean have a new instrument with which to resist the right-wing onslaught and continue implementing political and social changes in the region.
The Consensus aims to facilitate, from a conceptual and practical point of view, efforts to consolidate a political agenda benefitting the masses.
The document features the principles and objectives of progressive forces, as well as an analysis of the reality which such movements are attempting to transform, those involved, and the initiatives for which they are struggling.
The text is also a response to the neoliberal manifesto known as the Washington Consensus.
Despite the fact that this program dates back to the 1990s, we are witnessing increasingly stronger attempts to re-apply its dictates in Our America.
Speaking during the 23rd Sao Paulo Forum in Managua, the organization’s Executive Secretary, Mónica Valente, stated that it is now up to member parties to disseminate the regional Consensus, and implement it in accordance with each country’s specific conditions.
On July 17, the Final Declaration of the Forum was also approved, as well as various resolutions supporting progressive governments in the region and against maneuvers by the right-wing, especially in Venezuela and Brazil.
Delegates to the Forum expressed support for improving relations between Cuba and the United States. They cited the recent announcement made by President Donald Trump which represents a step back in bilateral relations and demanded the complete elimination of the economic, financial and commercial blockade of Cuba, as well as the return of the territory illegally occupied in Guantánamo.
The Final Declaration also included participants’ unanimous rejection of right wing coup violence in Venezuela, and support for a National Constituent Assembly to restore peace in the Bolivarian nation.
The over 300 delegates attending the Forum thanked the host country, and the Sandinista National Liberation Front – above all comrades Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo - for their hospitality.
During the event, which ended July 17, the results of the political mission tasked with monitoring the Colombia peace process were presented. Rodrigo Granda, International secretary of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP), praised the work of the Forum, noting that participants now have a better understanding of the situation in the South American nation.
“We have arrived at a point in the process which is irreversible,” stated Granda, who highlighted that the most difficult stage will be implementing that which was agreed upon in Havana.
Meanwhile, on July 18, delegates to the event also participated in celebrations marking the 38th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution, alongside side the Nicaraguan people, the country’s authorities, and international guests.
CUBA CONTINUES TO BE AN EXAMPLE
Speaking to Granma, Cuban Ambassador to Nicaragua, Juan Carlos Hernández noted that the island continues to be a reference and example of resistance for progressive and leftist movements in the region, as was recently seen in Managua.
“We witnessed a touching tribute to Fidel and Che, moments which set the tone for this session of the Forum,” added Hernández
The Cuban Ambassador stated that the presence of a broad delegation from the island, led by Comandante José Ramón Balaguer, a member of the Party Central Committee Secretariat, also served to strengthen Cuba’s historic ties with the government and people of Nicaragua.
He went on to note that economic and social progress being made by the Sandinista government was also evident during the event.
Hernández emphasized that Latin America and the Caribbean are at a crucial moment in their history. “Unity is the only way to overcome the right wing onslaught,” he stated.
While President Trump builds walls, here in Managua bridges of fraternity and struggle have been built, noted the Cuban ambassador.