Before the Start:
In April, various social, political, trade union and cultural organizations from Latin America and Europe launched in Brussels the platform to hold the People's Summit in July.
With the premise of promoting the aspirations of building an alternative model of development, the event took place on July 17 and 18 in parallel to the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the European Union (EU).
During the organizational meeting held in the Belgian capital, the need to coordinate actions to strengthen relations between the different actors in Latin America and the old continent emerged.
�� Hoy comienza la Cumbre UE-CELAC y la #CumbreDeLosPueblos2023. En un momento de reconfiguración geopolítica los pueblos del mundo avanzamos con paso firme hacia un nuevo orden internacional más justo y solidario. Escribo sobre ello en @publico_es.https://t.co/Y9UZfpb36N— Manu Pineda�� (@ManuPineda) July 17, 2023
In this sense, Manu Pineda, MEP of Izquierda Unida and Secretary of International Relations of the Communist Party of Spain (PCE), pointed out that the forum constitutes an ideal space to defend peace, multilateralism and the sovereignty of the peoples.
At the same time, Pineda pointed out that the summit will be a tribune against foreign interference and sanctions imposed on countries that refuse to abide by Washington's dictates.
"We cannot accept that the United States continues to impose wars and assault sovereign nations with its policies," he said.
The beginning of a good path:
The purpose of the social forum was to openly debate the most varied reflections, which will allow the promotion of an alternative model of development, cooperation and integration that is more just, supportive and sustainable.
According to Manu Pineda, the presence of several leaders at the event "shows that there is a real concern for placing the needs of the peoples, peace and environmentalism at the center of the debate, and that is what we are going to promote".
From the beginning, the forum served as a meeting point to discuss current issues; to share experiences of struggle and resistance; to strengthen ties between popular movements, trade unions, solidarity groups, migrant communities, associations, personalities and political forces from both continents.
During the inauguration of the summit between the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Ralph Gonsalves emphasized that European and Latin American countries must seek mechanisms to build a better world.https://t.co/wxb1GjB24A— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) July 17, 2023
Western Sahara: a moment of solidarity
During the first day of the forum, Mohamed Zrug, ambassador for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), acknowledged the support of various organizations and activists in rejection of the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara.
"From the Polisario Front, we appreciate the firm position of the Latin American Network for Economic and Social Justice Network expressed at the People's Summit to reject the Moroccan occupation and not to sponsor or co-organize any meeting of the IMF and the WB in Marrakech for its impact on the war imposed on the Saharawi people," said Mohamed Zrug.
Es un crimen, que el #FMI y el #BM sostengan la guerra de agresión y genocidio impuesta al pueblo saharaui financiando a un régimen en bancarrota moral y política en Rabat.— Embajador Mohamed Zrug���� (@MohamedZrug) July 17, 2023
La soberanía del pueblo de la República Saharaui es irrenunciable.
Saludamos coraje de @latindadd pic.twitter.com/GichRSa7aV
He further denounced that it is a crime for both organizations to support the war of aggression and genocide imposed on the Saharawi people by financing a morally and politically bankrupt regime in Rabat.
"The sovereignty of the people of the Saharawi Republic is inalienable", Mohamed Zrug reiterated in a context where the policy towards the Saharawi people has also manifested itself with the recognition by Israel of Morocco's occupation of Western Sahara.
Likewise, the MEP Miguel Urbán demanded commitments and not words, from Spain and its public officials to make effective the accompaniment of the Saharawi people taking as a reference the solidarity of Latin American governments.
Cuba had everyone’s support:
During his speech on the first day, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, rejected imperial aggressions against progressive and leftist processes in Latin America and the Caribbean.
"Here together with you, we express our solidarity with the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution in Venezuela, with Sandinista Nicaragua, with the Plurinational State of Bolivia, with the government of President Gustavo Petro in Colombia, with Lula in Brazil, with the Mexico in solidarity led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, with the brave Xiomara in Honduras, all of them rulers of our region," Díaz-Canel said during his speech.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, Yvan Gil, and Cuba, Bruno Rodriguez, held a meeting in Brussels, where they traveled to attend the III Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). https://t.co/PJY1bz82EC— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) July 17, 2023
In this sense, the head of state stressed that these governments show their own paths in order to correct the effects of neoliberal experiences within the societies they currently lead. Likewise, Díaz-Canel assured that his country supports the cause of the Palestinian and Saharawi peoples, and the independence of Puerto Rico.
In addition, Díaz-Canel also highlighted Cuba's contribution to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic with the development of the first vaccine in the continent against that disease, and also demanded the end of the blockade against his country that has been trying to suffocate the Cuban people for more than 60 years and was intensified to extreme levels during the pandemic stage.
Colombia: change in the atmosphere, something to be analyzed
The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, stressed in his speech that there is a change in the atmosphere, and urged to seek explanations for this phenomenon from the economy and human sciences.
"The change in the atmosphere is not a natural phenomenon, it is not an emanation of nature, it is not a natural disaster. The chemical change in the atmosphere is expressing the accumulation of capital to its maximum degree," he said.
Petro indicated that the current way of production and the axes of power that accompany it, as well as the processes of accumulation linked to profit and greed of the capitalist mode of production, have generated a Frankenstein.
#ColombiaEnBélgica �������� | Durante la Segunda Sesión Plenaria de la III Cumbre Celac-UE, el Presidente @petrogustavo se refirió a ciertos puntos que quisiera que fueran ejes de organización hacia la cumbre del año 2025, el primero es la Paz. pic.twitter.com/8nYttCRy6Q— Presidencia Colombia ���� (@infopresidencia) July 18, 2023
Likewise, the Colombian dignitary warned of the worsening of a global polycrisis, of an era that is coming to an end, due to the confluence of many crises at the same time: disease, war, economic crisis, climate crisis and again poverty and hunger.
"These crises, in general, have an anchor in something called the climate crisis. The left in general have not analyzed this issue, they have been surprised, as the right has been surprised, by the irruption in these times of something that fifteen years ago we did not even have the concept formed in our heads," he said.
In this sense, the head of state warned that "we are perceiving a brutal climate change that could lead us to extermination".
Ya es oficial— Jorge Rojas Rodríguez (@jorgerojas2022) July 18, 2023
En Bruselas se acaba de anunciar que Colombia será sede de la próxima cumbre CELAC-UE.
60 jefes de Estado y de gobierno de America Latina, el Caribe y Europa se reunirán en Bogotá en 2025.
Importante reconocimiento al liderazgo del presidente @petrogustavo pic.twitter.com/pz85zrO725
An emotional ending in spite of Nicaragua
In an emotional meeting between dozens of leaders, politicians and members of left-wing parties from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the People's Summit 2023 concluded on Tuesday with the reading of the final declaration of the meeting held at the headquarters of the European Parliament.
On July 18, The Government of Nicaragua informed that it did not sign, approve or accompany the consensus declaration of the Summit; the announcement came through a communiqué signed by Denis Moncada, Nicaragua Foreign Minister. The Sandinista Executive pointed out that said declaration was announced in a pompous and lying manner.
Moncada emphasized that the EU, broke the procedures and mechanisms established by democratic organizations, and went over "the rules that are the basis for the functioning of our own entities".
Seguimos sumando presidentes al acto de clausura de la #CumbreDeLosPueblos2023.— Manu Pineda�� (@ManuPineda) July 16, 2023
El presidente Díaz-Canel estará junto a Luis Arce, Alberto Fernández y Gustavo Petro. Los pueblos de Europa, América Latina y el Caribe avanzamos juntos. pic.twitter.com/0wEgiW2FpM
In its final declaration, the summit confirmed the holding of an International Tribunal to lift the blockade against Cuba on November 16 and 17 in Brussels.
The blockade of the United States (US) against Cuba violates elementary principles such as sovereign equality, good faith and non-interference in internal affairs.
On the other hand, it was recalled that the forum promotes an alternative model of sustainable development, based on cooperation and integration.
In addition, the Summit also condemned the coercive measures against Nicaragua and Venezuela, and the attempts by the United States to remove progressive leaders from office.
#Cuba | The summit between the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) culminated in a joint declaration in favor of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo of the United States against Cuba. https://t.co/NlKUc2KOTb— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) July 18, 2023
The final declaration denounced violations of the human rights of migrants, discrimination, racism and xenophobia.
Its authors also expressed concern about evils affecting young people in both regions, such as unemployment.
Finally, one of the objectives of the declaration was to reflect the need for coordination in the struggle for a multipolar international order.