MOVEMENTS FOR THE ALBA: COMMITMENT TO POPULAR INTEGRATION AND ANTI-IMPERIALISM
The 1st Continental Assembly of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) met between May 16-May 20. It brought together more than 200 delegates from 22 Latin American countries representing diverse social movements.
The activity, which was held in the Florestan Fernandes National School (ENFF) in Guararema, São Paulo state, strengthened initiatives to integrate the continent’s peoples and organizations in order to implement a coalition united in a common struggle.
“The ALBA is a project that is essentially political, anti-neoliberal and anti-imperialist, founded on the principles of cooperation, accompaniment and solidarity. It seeks to unite popular and institutional forces for a new cycle of Latin American independence; from the people and for the people, for mass integration, for life, for justice, for peace, for sovereignty, for identity, for equality, for the liberation of Latin America, for a genuine emancipation that has Indo-Afro-American socialism on its horizon”, said the final declaration of the assembly.
The social movements in attendance voiced concern for the United States’ offensive on the continent. “The Empire continues to mobilize itself to counter both the re-organization of public forces as well as the emergence of new, autonomous projects to integrate the Great Homeland. As soon as the first anti-neoliberal rebellions emerged, the United States began to readjust its foreign policy, aiming to recover its hegemony over the continental process in various spheres: economic, military, normative, cultural, media, political and territorial”, denounced a letter from the Latin-American organizations.
See below the final statement of the 1st Continental Assembly of Social Movements for the ALBA, which took the name of one such Latin American revolutionary, Hugo Chávez Frías.
Declaration of the 1st Continental Assembly of Social Movements for the Alba
We met with more than 200 delegates from May 16 to May 20, in the Florestan Fernandes National School, Guararema, São Paulo state, Brazil. These individuals represented: women’s groups, peasants, urban societies, indigenous communities, students, youth groups, unions, and agro-ecological organizations. They attended on behalf of movements from 22 different countries, constituting the 1st Continental Assembly of Social Movements for the Alba.
We arrived here as part of a historic process that sees us meet in forums, campaigns, international networks and sectorial bodies. These diverse struggles within each of our countries compel us to carry the same battle flags and the same dreams of a real social transformation.
We live in a new era in Our Americas, which has expressed itself in recent years through various mobilizations and popular rebellions. They seek to overcome neo-liberalism and construct an alternative society that is fair and inclusive, since it is now not only possible, but necessary.
The defeat of ALCA in 2005 demonstrated the resistance of social movements and a new, continental, geopolitical transformation characterized by the emergence of representative governments that dare to confront the Empire. The most prominent of these was launched in 2004 by Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, and is now known as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas.
The ALBA is a project that is essentially political, anti-neoliberal and anti-imperialist, founded on the principles of cooperation, accompaniment and solidarity. It seeks to unite popular and institutional forces for a new cycle of Latin American independence; from the people and for the people, for mass integration, for life, for justice, for peace, for sovereignty, for identity, for equality, for the liberation of Latin America, for a genuine emancipation that has Indo-Afro-American socialism on its horizon
Meanwhile, the Empire continues to mobilize against the re-organization of popular forces as well as the emergence of new autonomous projects of integration in the Great Homeland. As soon as the first anti-neoliberal rebellions emerged, the United States began to readjust its foreign policy aiming to recover its hegemony over the continental process in various spheres: economic, military, normative, cultural, media, political and territorial
The emergence of the capitalist crisis in Wall Street in 2008 reinforced these plans. Since then, we have witnessed the greatest imperialist counter-offensive in the continent. It has manifested itself with: increased transnational presence in our territories, looting of our natural resources, privatization of social rights, militarization of the continent, criminalization and repression of the people’s fight, the United States’ intervention in the coups d’état of Honduras and Paraguay, the permanent destabilization of progressive Latin American governments, and the use of initiatives such as the Pacific Alliance and other international agreements to attempt to recover political and economic influence.
It is this context, noted for the Imperialist offensive on one side, but also by the opening of new possibilities on the horizon, that leads us to the project launched by the governments of the ALBA. Coordinating social movements across the continent is now more necessary than ever. We have to assume this historic challenge and launch a resistance, going on the offensive with original thought to propose new models of civilization that salvage the greatest of our peoples’ traditions.
We have ratified the principles, guidelines and objectives of our first letter of the Social Movements of the Americas. We aim to construct the integration across the continent of social movements from below and from the left, promoting the ALBA and the solidarity of the people confronted with the imperialist project.
We affirm our commitment to contribute to the project of Latin American integration, to follow anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and anti-patriarchal battles. A commitment based on the principles of permanent, active, solidarity between our peoples through concrete actions against any form of power that seeks to oppress or to dominate.
We reassert our support for the self-determination of the peoples, and popular sovereignty in all spheres: territorial, nourishment, energy, economic, political, cultural and social.
We will defend the sovereignty of the people, allowing them to make decisions on the territory and natural resources that belong to them, in addition to defending the rights of Mother Earth.
The social movements of our Americas call for:
-The promotion of regional unity and integration based on an alternative model of life. A model that is sustainable and supportive, where means of production and reproduction are at the service of the people.
-To relaunch the struggle of the masses and the class struggle at a national, regional and continental level that allows us to break and dismantle neo-capitalist programs and projects.
-To implement effective networks and co-ordinate means of mass communication, which enable us to contest a battle of ideals and put a stop to corporations’ manipulation of information and means of communication.
-To amplify our processes of political and ideological formation, thus strengthening our organization and advancing our processes of conscious and consequential unity, making changes where necessary.
We show our support and solidarity for the people of Colombia at this crucial period of dialogue and negotiation that they may reach the signing of a new peace agreement, which will, in accordance with social justice, truly resolve the causes of armed conflict. We are attentive to the development of this process, available to collaborate and accompany it in the way that the people of Colombia require.
-We show our support for the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela, headed by comrade President Nicolás Maduro, an unequivocal expression of the popular will of the Venezuelan people as reflected in the ballot boxes last April 14, notwithstanding continuous destabilizing attempts from the right. Attempts that seek to ignore the sovereign decision of the people and lead the country to a political, economic and institutional crisis.
This Continental Coalition of Social Movements for the ALBA is part of an emancipation process that, from the Haitian Revolution until today, seeks to construct a more just and profoundly human society. Our commitment is to continue the legacy of millions of revolutionaries such as Bolívar, San Martín, Dolores Cacuango, Toussaint L’Overture, José María Morelos, Francisco Morazán, Bartolina Sisa, and other such individuals who gave their lives for these ideals in solidarity and selflessness.
Reaffirming our history, our assembly adopts the name of one of them, our Commandant Hugo Chávez, whom we honor by resuming our struggle for unity and brotherhood between the peoples of our Great Homeland, free and sovereign.
“The unity and integration of Our Americas is our path and on our horizon!”