This year, on April 20, the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru annouced their decision to “no longer participate in UNASUR [Union of South American Nation]”. On July 6, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno announced that the headquarters of UNASUR in Quito, Ecuador, which currently functions as the base of the South American unity project, must be handed over to host an indigenous university. In response to the pro-imperialist policies of the Moreno government, various Ecuadorian and Latin American social organizations met in defense of peace, unity and the sovereignty of the continent on July 28 in Ecuador. The organizing committee of the International meeting of “We the people are UNASUR” released the following letter after Saturday’s meeting:
Social and peoples’ organizations gathered in support of UNASUR on Saturday, July 28, in Mitad del Mundo, Quito, Ecuador. The organizations united in their concern over the rapid increase in pressure by the right-wing oligarchic governments in the region, who by reinforcing Trump’s imperial doctrine, seek the destruction of the sovereign and sub-regional integration mechanisms, such as UNASUR and ALBA, in order to establish a new model of reactionary and anti-people hemispheric domination.
Following the teachings of Simón Bolívar, we understand that the integration processes cannot be born from the institutionality of the bourgeois State, but fundamentally from the unity of people, of those excluded from the process of redistribution of socially produced wealth: women and men, youth and adults, peoples and nations, workers and peasants, who, although invisible, with their everyday work are the real driving force of an economy that marginalizes them.
As a part of the agenda of re-colonization of our natural, cultural and human resources – the fundamental keys to the salvation of neoliberal capitalist model – a new model of imperialism is being inaugurated, with fascist and criminal characteristics, disguised by the facade of private media, judicial servants, non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations, attacking the democratic and peoples’ governments, who have tended to encourage processes that jeopardize the interests of large international oligarchies.
In this context, the anti-democratic reactionary forces use the justice structure to disable social leaders by imposing neoliberal governments, like in Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina or Colombia. By using the system of law and institutional devices, they hope to destroy the integration mechanisms.
Today, we, the people of Abya Yala, have decided to remember our ancestors and their teachings. We have decided to reject this western culture that still condemns us, 500 years after the European massacre on our lands, to the eternal sale of our resources and workforce as the only way to get ahead, without the welfare of the people. This is why, from the Mitad del Mundo, we raise the emancipating conviction and unity of our father liberator against all imperialism. We remember the struggles of our true historic leaders for the dignity, sovereignty and collective bliss; we remember thousands of heroic deaths of our people against all forms of slavery.
Therefore, we collectively decided to:
- Overwhelmingly reject the siege, boycott and threats to people’s movements participating and organizing the event, “We the people are UNASUR”; as well as the denial of the use of UNASUR’s headquarters building.
- Form a cultural network of emancipating and liberating the South and with an autonomous look that generates content for the Cultural Revolution through its different expressions. It is essential to create different forms of communication that is of the people, free and alternative at the regional level through a continental network of alternative media.
- Support the initiative of the Parish Committee of San Antonio in the delivery of an estate to the National Government for the creation of the University of Southern Ancestral People (the proposed Indigenous University).
- Develop a local and international movement in defense of the Latin American unity with a previous census that guarantees the participation in the space. Coordinating a united plan of the grassroots that references transversal themes and confronts the conservative restoration in Latin America.
- Promote a Continental People’s Meeting, understanding that our people are the most vulnerable in the siege of violence and imperial cravings of power over our resources.
- Declare ourselves in permanent mobilization in defence of the southern bloc and as means of pressure, rejection and resistance to the presidency of Lenin Moreno, the oligarchic governments of the region and against imperialism and its murderous ways.
- Show solidarity with the people who are being attacked by imperialism through isolation and criminal economic and financial blockade imposed by the United States on the countries seeking their own destiny. It is necessary to create a people’s economic alternative to beat this offensive.
- Plan a national indignation day in rejection of the economic measures that will exacerbate the poor condition of Ecuadorian population, through provincial meetings that can serve as preparation for the reconstitution of the people’s bloc.
- Alert the international community about the Ecuadorian government’s claim to withdraw political asylum from activist Julian Assange, who will face the death penalty for unveiling secrets of American imperialism.
We demand freedom for prisoners of conscience: Milagros Salas in Argentina, Jesús Santrich and Simón Trinidad in Colombia, Lula da Silva in Brazil, Jorge Glas in Ecuador; in addition, we reject judicial persecution against Latin American leaders who decided to draw a new horizon. Our solidarity with Rafael Correa, Dilma Roussef and Cristina Fernandez.
“There is no shortage of those who try to take advantage of difficult tomes to maintain this commitment to the restoration of capitalism, of neoliberalism, to destroy the motherland. They won’t be able to. Given these circumstances of new difficulties, no matter what their size is, the response of all the patriots, revolutionaries, those who love the motherland deeply, is unity, struggle, battle and victory.”
-Commander Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías
(Translated by Tanya Wadhwa)