The Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales joined Tuesday other leftist and progressive leaders in the region to pay homage to Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban Revolution, during the closing ceremony of the XXIV Sao Paulo Forum Tuesday.
Taking the stage after El Salvador's President Salvador Sanchez spoke, Evo Morales greeted the Forum's host Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, leftist leaders and social movements including Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
"Our brother Maduro the people are with you against the Empire," Morales said referring to the United States and its policies against the Venezuelan government. He went on to speak of the great speeches of Fidel Castro and his legzy that has left a significant impact on the region and the world.
Maduro then took the stage and praised Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution. “When it seemed that the world was governed by the the vision of Washington, in Latin America there was a light and a libertarian when the Cuban flag was raised."
He went on to speak about how the Venezuelan government is facing an “international conspiracy” that wishes to destroy the country’s socialist revolution that was started by late President Hugo Chavez.
"I think the Latin American right does not have a democratic project. Despite the fact that the dictatorships were left behind, the oligarchies come with a thirst for vengeance against the popular projects."
In the closing speech of the event, Cuban President Díaz-Canel thanked all the leaders and progressives from social movements across the region who have attended the Forum. He further extended his support to all the leftist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua against the U.S.-led aggressions and plots seeking to oust them.
He also said that his government stands in solidarity with imprisoned leftist former Brazilian President Lula as well as Ecuador's ex-President Rafael Correa as he faces unfounded charges.
The Forum emerged in 1990 as the result of the Encounter of Left-wing Political Parties and Organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean promoted by Fidel and former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
This year’s edition, titled “For Latin American and Caribbean Unity,” has stressed the necessity to unite the efforts of the region’s left and progressive politics to resist neoliberal economic policies and attempts by the United States to reassert domination over the region.
Over 400 public intellectuals, political authorities, and party representatives of 113 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa have gathered in Havana, where they expressed their solidarity with Lula, Venezuela and Nicaragua.