Declaration of the V People's Summit of the Americas
un articulo por John Lindsay-Poland, Fellowship of Reconciliation
The social and people’s organizations of the continent, gathered in the V People’s Summit – The True Voice of the Americas – from April 12-14 in Cartagena de Indias at the same time as the VI Summit of the Americas, declare:
Peoples Assembly Summit, April 14, 2012. Photo: Gary Cozette
click on photo to enlarge
We vigorously reject the insistence of the United States government to impose its agenda and decide the direction of these summits. Proof of this can be seen in its veto of Cuba’s participation in the Summit of the Americas as well as its strategy of militarization (for which it uses as a pretext the failed war on drugs, attention to natural disasters, and immigration control) as a way to maintain US hegemony. A fundamental component of this strategy is the criminalization of social movements.
The imperialist policies of the United States can be seen in its support of the coup d’ètat in Honduras and US backing of the illegitimate regime of Porfirio Lobo, its efforts to destabilize Haiti, its ongoing economic blockade of Cuba and the continued presence of the Guantanamo military base, as well as its opposition to the sovereignty of Argentina in the Falkland Islands.
It has been evident, following the Summit of Trinidad and Tobago [June 2009], that the government of President Obama has not fulfilled its offer to construct a new type of relationship with Latin America. In spite of the failure of th Free Trade Area of the Americas proposal, the United States government, in order to dodge the acute economic crisis that it has faced since 2007, insists on promoting free trade agreements and the entire neoliberal agenda which are an obstacle for regional integration and have mired the majority of the countries of the continent in backwardness and misery.
For its part, the Canadian government has declared a politics of free trade agreements, mega-industrial mining, and natural resource extraction in all of Latin America. Its industries are causing irreversible damages to the environment and to biodiversity, violating the rights of the people to their land. Social and environmental conflicts are multiplying as a result of this predatory model.
We recognize the advances in efforts at autonomous regional integration such as those established in the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). However, the construction and financing of democratic, progressive, and leftist governments must move toward overcoming a model based on extraction, agricultural monocultures for export, and the hoarding of land. Such practices damage essential rights such as free and informed prior consent and impede the full deployment of social movements as forces capable of deepening change.
The confluence of these governmental streams and those of social and political movements can be preserved to the degree that the people deepen their unity, their social and political mobilization, and do not renounce their autonomy and their ability to guarantee their rights. We note with satisfaction the sustained, non-violent, popular struggles against the neoliberal model.
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At this V People’s Summit – The True Voice of the Americas, thousands of fighters from organizations of women, unions, students, farmers, indigenous people, African-descended people, small businesses, and ecumenical religious persons gathered from throughout the hemisphere. We deliberated on the problems that we consider truly fundamental for our countries and we moved forward in the construction of proposals and so, among other petitions, we demand:
- The elimination of foreign military bases, the end of colonialism, the cancellation of joint military and police exercises and training, the closing of the School of the Americas and the elimination of the Inter-American Defense System, and the end of the deployment of the IV fleet in our waters.
- The end of militarization under the pretext of the war on drugs and its replacement by a comprehensive, multilateral policy with emphasis on public health measures.
- The end of the militarization of civil functions such as humanitarian assistance, disaster response, and immigration control.
- The end of the criminalization of social movements, and to the use of indigenous, afro, and campesino [small farmer] lands as battlefields. No to forced recruitment, to the use of women as spoils of war, and to forced displacement. In the case of Colombia, in which an armed, internal conflict persists, militarization has put these people on the brink of extinction.
- The elimination of free trade agreements and investments that deepen poverty, social exclusion, and inequality and which particularly affect women.
- The end of indiscriminate promotion of foreign investment, looking instead for relationships of cooperation and mutual benefit and the strengthening of autonomous processes of integration. The rights of investors cannot be above the rights of the people and of the environment. We condemn transnational companies as the primary actors in this model.
- We call for a new regional financial architecture that incorporates: South Bank, the Latin American Reserve Fund, and puts and end to the impoverishing politics of debt.
- Real solutions to the environmental and climate crisis directed toward its structural causes through rebuilding the financial architecture and thereby changing the development model. We defend life and common goods in the face of the commodification of nature driven by multilateral financial institutions and the countries of the North.
- Respect for the right of the people to decide their agriculture policies and assure their food sovereignty, to conserve and consume their native products, all of which are threatened by monocultures, biofuels, genetically modified organisms, and big mining.
- The creation of decent work for all, the guarantee of freedom of association and collective bargaining, and the end to violence against rural and urban workers of the continent to be made a priority.
- Effective changes in the education systems that assure full access to education with democratic participation in the education establishment and against the privatization and commodification of education. In defense of the right to education, we support the demand of the student movement of the continent for their education to be free and universal.
- Reestablish the right of Cuba to pertain to the multilateral system. . ... continuación.