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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Final Declaration of the Working Group of the São Paulo Forum, Bogotá 2023

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Photo of the end of the meeting -- Image via the São Paulo Forum

The "Working Group of the São Paulo Forum met in Bogotá on April 13, 14 and 15, 2023, celebrating the electoral victory and the first advances of the Historical Pact government, of President Gustavo Petro and Vice President Francia Márquez". The São Paulo Forum is a formation of left-wing political parties and other organizations primarily from the Caribbean and Latin America that was launched by the Workers' Party of Brazil in 1990 after a call by Lula and Fidel Castro.

It now consists of "123 member parties from 27 countries that gather for an annual meeting, and a Working Group with representatives from 16 countries that meets periodically."

The Working Group issued a Final Declaration on April 24 that we republish here in full due to its importance.

The Working Group of the São Paulo Forum met in Bogotá on April 13, 14 and 15, 2023, celebrating the electoral victory and the first advances of the Historical Pact government, of President Gustavo Petro and Vice President Francia Márquez, as the proposal for Total Peace, the proposals for labor, health and pension reforms, verifying their commitments to the people, inclusion and social justice, sustainable development and the construction of peace.

The popular forces of Latin America and the Caribbean have ratified with the new wave of leftist and progressive governments their desires for social and environmental justice, the recovery and deepening of democracy and sovereignty; as well as turning our region into a zone of peace.

In the framework of great changes and great challenges on the world stage, the elements of an emerging democratic multipolarity are in full development, with the strengthening of the BRICS, the growth of trade in national currencies between countries, new and overwhelming diplomatic initiatives sponsored by the People's Republic of China for negotiated solutions to the conflicts in the Middle East. The revival of the struggles of workers, women and youth in various countries of Europe and the United States, against the dispossession of their salaries due to inflation, the setback in their social rights, once again demonstrate the failure of neoliberalism on a planetary scale. In this context, Latin America and the Caribbean, with its important human, cultural and natural diversity, emerges as a region of the world that can contribute to facing the main current problems of humanity: the climate emergency, experiences in reducing poverty and food insecurity, reflection on the so-called war against illicit drugs, that in addition to being a historic failure, became a pretext for imperialist military interference, militarizing communities, destroying natural resources, biodiversity and the ways of life of peasant and indigenous communities, making urgent the construction of alternatives to the scourge of illicit drugs.

There will be no multipolarity if Latin America and the Caribbean do not achieve full integration. Our region, with its fighting people and with the parties and political forces gathered in the São Paulo Forum, is a hopeful framework for the peoples. Together with the popular, women's, youth, LGBTQIA+, worker, indigenous, peasant, and Afro-descendant movements, we fight, resist, and move forward. Unleashing the potential of our region, in the midst of an unprecedented crisis of world capitalism, requires hard work for Latin American and Caribbean regional integration, with relations of solidarity, cooperation and strengthening of multilateralism. In this sense, we celebrate the steps taken by our progressive governments to strengthen integration with sovereignty and its expressions such as CELAC and UNASUR, ALBA-TCP and CELAC Social.

Following and advancing on this path, with the power of ideas, the Working Group of the São Paulo Forum, meeting in Bogotá DC, decides:

  • To convene the XXVI Meeting of the São Paulo Forum, on June 29 and 30 and July 1 and 2, 2023, in the city of Brasilia, Brazil, at which time we will meet to exchange experiences of struggle, of progressive governments, reflections and ways forward, guided by the principle of building unity in diversity.

  • Support leftist and progressive governments in the region, in their battle to confront neoliberalism, resist the attacks of US imperialism and its allies, make social transformations a reality and defend popular sovereignty.

  • Welcome the new integrationist moment that the region is experiencing, such as the decision of the governments of Brazil and Argentina to re-enter UNASUR, the holding of the Summit against Inflation, at the initiative of the government of President López Obrador, the revitalization of the scenarios of regional integration such as CELAC and ALBA-TCP, and the initiative of President Gustavo Petro of the International Conference on Venezuela, which will be held in Bogotá DC on April 25 of this year.

  • Support the efforts of democratic and progressive governments to help face the climate emergency by accelerating the transition to clean energy, the sovereign protection of the Amazon and the region's strategic ecosystems.

  • Demand from President Joe Biden and the United States Congress the immediate lifting of the intensified economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba and the elimination of its inclusion in the spurious list of state sponsors of terrorism, the repeal of coercive and unilateral measures to Venezuela, and the sanctions to Nicaragua. At the same time, it urges the governments of the region to build a Latin American and Caribbean project that strengthens the productive forces and commercial and financial mechanisms that seek to mitigate or annul the effects of the unilateral economic sanctions of North American imperialism and its allies, which increase the poverty, cause hunger and shortages in our peoples.

  • The FSP advocates a realistic and diplomatic way out of the war in Ukraine, and considers that dialogue and negotiations, not war, are the only way to resolve the conflict, always by peaceful means, which guarantees the sovereignty of all, regional and international peace, stability and security. It also ratifies its support for the different proposals that seek a negotiated solution to the war in Ukraine through dialogue, such as the one put forward by presidents Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Nicolás Maduro and Luis Arce Catacora, as well as the one presented by President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, and that of President Lula to work to create an environment of dialogue and negotiation that prevents the lengthening of hostilities and the increase in tensions between countries with nuclear arsenals.

  • Reject arbitrary detention and demand the freedom of journalist Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks page, who revealed classified documents as part of his work, the atrocities and lies of US imperialism about the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Express their solidarity with the Total Peace policy of the government of the Historical Pact in Colombia, the dialogues that are being carried out with the ELN and other armed groups, with the integral implementation of the Havana Agreement as its central pillar. In line, we urge the Government of Change to seek the necessary paths to achieve the freedom of the 170 peace signatories who continue in prisons, and make efforts for the repatriation of Simón Trinidad; as well as, make all efforts to stop the murders, threats and forced displacements of communities, peace signatories, human rights defenders, men and women leaders.

  • Recognize Cuba's contribution to the achievement achieved with the Havana Peace Agreement, first as the setting for the dialogues and as a guarantor country, and now with its participation in the Commission for Monitoring, Promotion and Verification of the implementation of the La Habana Agreement. Havana. In the same way, applaud the disposition in its role as guarantor, creating the conditions to host the third cycle of the dialogue table between the government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army, ELN. These contributions from the courageous Cuba help to open the way to a new political reality, not only in Colombia, but in the entire Latin American region.

  • Warn that the most reactionary sectors maneuver and seek to destabilize the process and the government of Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez, through an aggressive media campaign and other measures typical of the so-called hybrid coups, applied in other countries of the region, to prevent the consolidation of the progressive and popular alternatives.

  • Joyfully embrace the reestablishment of relations between Colombia and Venezuela and the gradual restoration of the social fabric and the formal economy of the Binational Strip.

  • Reject the declaration of the Peruvian Congress declaring President Gustavo Petro and former President Evo Morales persona non grata, in view of their fair assessments of the bankruptcy of democracy, the constitutional order, the violation of human rights and the militarization of society .

  • Express our solidarity with the people of El Salvador, who since 2019 have been facing an authoritarian regime, which runs over the Constitution to change the political system achieved after the signing of the Peace Accords, achieving a total concentration of power. Warn about the consummation of the coup against democracy in El Salvador, with the announced registration for the presidential re-election in the 2024 elections, which is strictly prohibited by the Salvadoran Constitution. Condemn the political persecution, the violation of human rights, the intimidation of the population and the permanent threats to FMLN militants and leaders in the exercise of their political rights.

  • Express your concern about the lack of democratic guarantees in Guatemala, in view of the general elections on June 25, which are expressed in the judicialization, criminalization and exclusion of candidates opposed to the oligarchic and pro-imperialist regime, which has as its presidential candidate the daughter of a coup backing and genocidal military officer. All of this means a profound setback in the minimal achievements of the Peace Agreements and militarization, which exacerbate the already serious institutional and corruption crisis that the Central American nation is experiencing.

  • Support the anti-colonial struggles of the peoples of the Patria Grande, particularly the just claims of Argentina over the Malvinas Islands and the patriotic forces of Puerto Rico in the search for their independence. And express their solidarity with the self-determination of the Palestinian and Saharawi people.

  • Support and participate in the World Assembly for the Health of the peoples, which will be held in the city of Cali, from December 4 to 8, 2023.

  • Support the VI International Mission to follow up on the implementation of the gender approach of the Havana Peace Agreement, to be held from April 22 to 28, organized by the FDIM.

  • Support the holding of the meeting of the General Secretariat of OCLAE, from April 25 to 29, and its continental campaign for the fundamental right to education.

  • Support the acts that will be carried out in homage to President Salvador Allende and the Popular Unity, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the military coup against the popular government.

  • Back and support the holding of the Summit of the Peoples through CELAC Social, on the occasion of the Summit of CELAC-European Union Presidents, on July 14 and 15 of this year, in Brussels.

The experience of the peoples of Our America indicates that their struggles are successful when scenarios of unity in diversity are built, mobilization days that unify us and encourage our hope for another possible world. Thus, we are committed to mobilizing ideas, initiatives and conferences that energize and strengthen the presence of the Sao Paulo Forum with unity, organization and struggle.

See you at the XXVI Meeting of the FSP.


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