“We must defend our peoples from misery and the war that the United States propagates,” the People's Summit organizer Claudia de la Cruz said.
On Wednesday, Latin American and Caribbean social movements gathered in Los Angeles to kick off the People's Summit, a progressive event running parallel to the U.S. President Joe Biden's Summit of the Americas.
Hundreds of people turned out for the first day of discussions at the People's Summit, a fact that contrasted sharply with the poor attendance at the U.S.-backed "corporate summit." In one of the panels, Ana Malinow, Bita Amani, Bill McKibben, Carlos Marroquin, and Tynetta Hill-Muhammad discussed how to build health systems that promote autonomy and dignity.
They were accompanied via videoconference by Tania Crombet Ramos, a Cuban who did not obtain a visa to travel to the United States. The same thing happened with many social activists from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, who were also unable to obtain visas to attend the People's Summit.
In the panel "Solidarity beyond borders", the delegate for the People's Congress, Leonardo Luna Alzate, remembered all the citizens who have died in the struggles against neoliberalism in Latin America. "For our dead, not just a minute of silence but a lifetime of struggle!," he said.
During the plenary on "The Fight for Democracy", the activists highlighted the sacrifices that people make to counteract the aggression emanating from the Latin American economic and political elites, which are supported by the United States, a country that has "no moral authority" to ask for democracy in Latin America.
"If the right to vote is not respected in the United States, if the United States uses its force to undermine people's efforts to build democracy from below, then how does the United States pretend to be the defender of democracy throughout the world? ," Palestinian activist Rabab Abdulhadi said.
“We must defend our peoples from misery and the war that the United States propagates. We must take responsibility to elevate, promote, and defend life because death is, and has always been, the only thing capitalism and imperialism can offer,” the People's Summit organizer Claudia de la Cruz said.
The Summit of the Americas has begun marked by the absence of #Cuba, #Venezuela and #Nicaragua and also of the president of #Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who decided not to attend due to the policy of exclusion carried out by the #USA pic.twitter.com/ZCsFlvrpea— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) June 8, 2022