Thousands around Latin America took part in the “Continental Day for Democracy and Against Neoliberalism” on Friday, with demonstrations focusing on self-determination, the rights of workers and the Indigenous, and to condemn free trade, poverty and inequality, as well as to oppose the recent right-wing coups around the continent.
A wide range of social movements are coming together to defended democracy across Latin America and to mark the 10th anniversary of the defeat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, or FTAA, in Mar del Plata, Argentina.
The hemispheric-wide FTAA trade deal was decried as neoliberal attempt to subjugate the region to the whims of transnational corporations and Washington, while lowering living standards, undermining labor rights and affording excessive power to corporations and foreign states.
Trade unions and political organizations are expected at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, to remember the 2005 rejection of the FTAA, with participants in the capital saying that the backlash to neoliberalism through the defeat of the trade deal can not be forgotten.
Demonstrators inducing anti-debt group Jubilee South and women’s groups are in the country’s biggest and most industrialized city, Sao Paulo. The demonstrators were demanding the free movement of people, and protecting migrants from violation and criminalization.
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Mexican social movements are mobilizing around the country to defend sovereignty in the face of neoliberal policy as well as show their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which they say presents similar threats to the FTAA.
Unions, peasants and local organizations are set to hold a ceremony in the Parque Independencia in the capital Santo Domingo, protesting currently-proposed free trade agreements and demanding democracy in the face of neoliberal policies.
A country long on the receiving end of Washington's imperialist neoliberal policies, Cuban protesters are due to meet at the University of Havana. The demonstrators are rallying against continued U.S. interference across the continent and in celebration of the ideas of historical figures of Latin American independence movements such as Che Guevara, Simón Bolívar, José de San Martín and José Martí.
Bolivia's Indigenous President Evo Morales is expected to attend gatherings in Bolivia to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara arriving in the country and to protest against imperialism and give their support to Venezuelan government as it faces right-wing coup attempts.
Several other demonstrations were set to gather in Chile, Peru, Uruguay and Panama and other Caribbean countries.