`The Caracas Commitment' -- Declaration from World Meeting of Left Parties, November 19-21, Caracas, Venezuela
[For background information, go to ``Venezuela: Chavez calls for new international organisation of left parties''.]
Declaration from World Meeting of Left Parties, November 19-21, Caracas, Venezuela
November 21, 2009 -- Political parties and organizations from Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania commemorate and celebrate the unity and solidarity that brought us together in Caracas, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and from this libertarian city we would like to express our revolutionary rebelliousness. We are glad of and committed to the proud presence of the forces of change in a special moment of history. Likewise, we are proud to reaffirm our conviction to definitively sow, grow and win Socialism of the 21st century.
In this regard, we want to sign the Commitment of Caracas as a revolutionary guide for the challenges ahead of us. We have gathered with the aim of unifying criteria and giving concrete answers that allow us to defend our sovereignty, our social victories, and the freedom of our peoples in the face of the generalized crisis of the world capitalist system and the new threats spreading over our region and the whole world with the establishment and strengthening of military bases in the sister republics of Colombia, Panama, Aruba, Curacao, the Dutch Antilles, as well as the aggression against Ecuadorian territory, and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
We consider that the world capitalist system is going through one of its most severe crises, which has shaken its very foundations and brought with it consequences that jeopardize the survival of humanity. Likewise, capitalism and the logic of capital, destroys the environment and biodiversity, bringing with it consequences of climate change, global warming and the destruction of life.
One of the epicentres of the capitalist crisis is in the economic domain; this highlights the limitations of unbridled free markets ruled by private monopolies. In this situation, some governments have been asked to intervene to prevent the collapse of vital economic sectors, for instance, through the implementation of bailouts to bank institutions that amount to hundreds of billions of dollars. Said governments have been asked to stimulate their economies by increasing public expenditure in order to mitigate the recession and the private sector decline, which evidences the end of the supposedly irrefutable “truth” of neo-liberalism that of non-intervention of the State in economic affairs.
In this regard, it is very timely to promote an in-depth discussion on the economic crisis, the role of the State and the construction of a new financial architecture.
In summary, the capitalist crisis cannot be reduced simply to a financial crisis; it is a structural crisis of capital which combines the economic crisis, with an ecological crisis, a food crisis, and an energy crisis, which together represents a mortal threat to humanity and mother earth. Faced with this crisis, left-wing movements and parties see the defence of nature and the construction of an ecologically sustainable society as a fundamental axis of our struggle for a better world.
In recent years, progressive and left-wing movements of the Latin American region have accumulated forces, and stimulated transformations, throwing up leaders that today hold important government spaces. This has represented an important blow to the empire because the peoples have rebelled against the domination that has been imposed on them, and have left behind their fear to express their values and principles, showing the empire that we will not allow any more interference in our internal affairs, and that we are willing to defend our sovereignty.
This meeting is held at a historic time, characterized by a new imperialistic offensive against the peoples and governments of the region and of the world, a pretension supported by the oligarchies and ultraconservative right-wing, with the objective of recovering spaces lost as a consequence of the advancement of revolutionary process of liberation developing in Latin America. These are expressed through the creation of regional organizations such as ALBA, UNASUR, PETROCARIBE, Banco del Sur, the Sao Paulo Forum, COPPPAL, among others; where the main principles inspiring these processes are those of solidarity, complementarity, social priority over economic advantage, respect for self-determination of the peoples in open opposition to the policies of imperial domination. For these reasons, the right-wing forces in partnership with the empire have launched an offensive to combat the advance and development of the peoples’ struggles, especially those against the overexploitation of human beings, racist discrimination, cultural oppression, in defence of natural resources, of the land and territory from the perspective of the left and progressive movements and of world transformation.
We reflect on the fact that these events have led the U.S administration to set strategies to undermine, torpedo and destabilize the advancement of these processes of change and recuperation of sovereignty. To this end, the US has implemented policies expressed through an ideological and media offensive that aim to discredit the revolutionary and progressive governments of the region, labelling them as totalitarian governments, violators of human rights, with links to drug-trafficking operations, and terrorism; and also questioning the legitimacy of their origin. This is the reason for the relentless fury with which all the empire’s means of propaganda and its agents inside our own countries continuously attack the experiences in Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Paraguay, as with its maintenance of the blockade against revolutionary and independent Cuba.
Part of the strategy activated by the U.S. Empire is evidenced by the coup in Honduras, as well as in other destabilizing initiatives in Central America, attempting to impose the oligarchic interests that have already left hundreds of victims, while a disgusting wave of cynicism tries to cover up the dictatorship imposed by the U.S. administration with a false veil of democracy. Along with this, it is developing a military offensive with the idea of maintaining political and military hegemony in the region, for which it is promoting new geopolitical allies, generating destabilization and disturbing peace in the region and globally through military intimidation, with the help of its allies in the internal oligarchies, who are shown to be complicit in the actions taken by the empire, giving away their sovereignty, and opening spaces for the empire’s actions.
We consider that this new offensive is specifically expressed through two important events that took place this year in the continent: The coup in Honduras, and the installation of military bases in Colombia and Panama, as well as the strengthening of the already existing ones in our region. The coup in Honduras is nothing but a display of hypocrisy by the empire, a way to intimidate the rest of the governments in the region. It is a test-laboratory that aims to set a precedent that can be applied as a new coup model and a way to encourage the right to plot against the transformational and independent processes.
We denounce the military agreement between the Colombian government and the United States administration strengthens the U.S.’s military strategy, whose contents are expressed in the so-called “White Book”. This confirms that the development of the agreement will guarantee a projection of continental and intercontinental military power, the strengthening of transportation capability and air mobility to guarantee the improvement of its action capability, in order to provide the right conditions to have access to energy sources. It also consolidates its political partnership with the regional oligarchy for the control of Colombian territory and its projection in the Andes and in the rest of South America. All this scaffolding and consolidation of military architecture entails a serious threat for peace in the region and the world.
The installation of military bases in the region and their interrelation with the different bases spread throughout the world is not only confined to the military sphere, but rather forms part of the establishment of a general policy of domination and expansion directed by the U.S. These bases constitute strategic points to dominate all the countries in Central and Latin America and the rest of the world.
The treaty for the installation of military bases in Colombia is preceded by Plan Colombia, which was already an example of U.S. interference in the affairs of Colombia and the region using the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism as an excuse. However, it has been shown that drug trafficking levels have increased in Colombia; therefore, the plan is no longer justified given that no favourable results have been obtained since its implementation, that would justify a new treaty with the U.S.
Today, the global strategy headed by the U.S. concerning drug trafficking is a complete failure. Its results are summarised by a rapid processes of accumulation of illegal capital, increased consumption of drugs and exacerbation of criminality, whose victims are the peoples of Latin America, especially the Colombian people. This strategy should be revisited and modified, and should be oriented towards a different logic that focuses on drug consumption as a public health issue. In Colombia, drug trafficking has assumed the form of paramilitarism, and turned into a political project the scope of which and persons responsible should be investigated so that the truth is known, so that justice prevails and the terror of the civilian population ceases.
We, the peoples of the world, declare that we will not give up the spaces we have managed to conquer after years of struggle and resistance; and we commit ourselves to regain those which have been taken from us. Therefore, we need to defend the processes of change and the unfolding revolutions since they are based on sovereign decisions made by the peoples.
1. MOBILIZATION AND CONDEMNATION OF U.S. MILITARY BASES
1.1. To organize global protests against the U.S. military bases from December 12th to 17th, 2009. Various leftwing parties and social movements will promote forums, concerts, protest marches and any other creative activity within the context of this event.
1.2. To establish a global mobilization front for the political denouncement of the U.S. military bases. This group will be made up by social leaders, left-wing parties, lawmakers, artists, among others, who will visit different countries with the aim of raising awareness in forums, press conferences and news and above all in gatherings with each country’s peoples.
1.3. To organize students, young people, workers and women in order to establish a common agenda of vigilance and to denounce against the military bases throughout the world.
1.4. To organize a global legal forum to challenge the installation of the U.S. military bases. This forum is conceived as a space for the condemnation of illegalities committed against the sovereignty and self-determination of the peoples and the imposition of a hegemonic imperialist model.
1.5. To organise a global trial against paramilitarism in Colombia bringing testimonies and evidence to international bodies of justice.
1.6. To promote a global trial against George Bush for crimes against humanity, as the person principally responsible for the genocide against the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan.
1.7. To promote a campaign for the creation of constitutional and legal provisions in all of our countries against the installation of military bases and deployment of nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
1.8. To promote, from the different social organizations and movements of the countries present in this meeting, a political solution for the Colombian conflict.
1.9. To organise solidarity with the Colombian people against the imperial aggression that the military bases entail in Colombian territory.
2. INSTALLATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF A PLATFORM OF JOINT ACTION BY LEFT-WING PARTIES OF THE WORLD
2.1. To establish a space of articulation of progressive and left-wing organizations and parties that allows for coordinating policies against the aggression towards the peoples, the condemnation of the aggressions against governments elected democratically, the installation of military bases, the violation of sovereignty and against xenophobia, the defence of immigrants’ rights, peace, and the environment, and peasant, labour, indigenous and afro-descendent movements.
2.2. To set up a Temporary Executive Secretariat (TES) that allows for the coordination of a common working agenda, policy making, and follow-up on the agreements reached within the framework of this international encounter. Said Secretariat undertakes to inform about relevant events in the world, and to define specific action plans: statements, declarations, condemnations, mobilizations, observations and other issues that may be decided.
2.3. To set up an agenda of permanent ideological debate on the fundamental aspects of the process of construction of socialism.
2.4. To prepare common working agendas with participation from Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
2.5. To organize solidarity of the people’s of the world with the Bolivarian revolution and President Hugo Chávez, in response to the constant imperial attacks.
2.6. To commemorate the centenary of Clara Zetkin’s proposal to celebrate March 8th as the International Day of Women. The parties undertake to celebrate this day insofar as possible.
2.7. To summon a meeting to be held in Caracas in April 2010 in commemoration of the bicentenary of our Latin American and Caribbean independences.
3. ORGANIZATION OF A WORLD MOVEMENT OF MILITANTS FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE
3.1. To promote the establishment of peace bases, by peace supporters, who will coordinate actions and denouncements against interventionism and war sponsored by imperialism through activities such as: forums, cultural events, and debates to promote the ethical behaviour of anti-violence, full participation in social life, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, acknowledgement of the cultural identities of our peoples and strengthening the framework of integration. This space seeks to raise awareness among all citizens in rejection of all forms of domination, internal or external intervention, and to reinforce the culture of peace. To struggle relentlessly for a world with no nuclear weapons, no weapons of mass destruction, no military bases, no foreign interference, and no economic blockades, as our peoples need peace and are absolutely entitled to attain development. Promote the American continent as a territory of peace, home to the construction of a free and sovereign world.
3.2. To organize a Peace Parliament as a political space to exchange common endeavours among the world’s progressive and left-wing parliamentarians, and to know the historical, economic, legal, political and environmental aspects key for the defence of peace. Hereby we recommend holding the first meeting in February 2010.
4. ARTILLERY OF INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION TO EMANCIPATE REVOLUTIONARY CONSCIOUSNESS
4.1. To discuss a public communication policy at an inter-regional level that aims to improve the media battle, and to convey the values of socialism among the peoples.
4.2. To promote the creation and consolidation of alternative and community communication media to break the media siege, promote an International Alternative Left-wing Media Coordination Office that creates links to provide for improved information exchange among our countries, in which Telesur and Radiosur can be spearheads for this action.
4.3. To create a website of all of the progressive and left-wing parties and movements in the world as a means to ensure permanent exchange and the development of an emancipating and alternative communication.
4.4. To promote a movement of artists, writers and filmmakers to promote and develop festivals of small, short and full-length films that reflects the advancement and the struggle of peoples in revolution.
4.5. To hold a meeting or international forum of alternative left-wing media.
5. MOBILIZE ALL POPULAR ORGANIZATIONS IN UNRESTRICTED SUPPORT FOR THE PEOPLE OF HONDURAS
5.1. To promote an international trial against the coup plotters in Honduras before the International Criminal Court for the abuses and crimes committed.
5.2. Refuse to recognize the illegal electoral process they aim to carry out in Honduras.
5.3. To carry out a world vigil on Election Day in Honduras in order to protest against the intention to legitimize the coup, coordinated by the permanent committee that emerges from this encounter.
5.4. To coordinate the actions of left-wing parties worldwide to curb the imperialist pretensions of using the coup in Honduras as a strategy against the Latin American and Caribbean progressive processes and governments.
5.5. To unite with the people of Honduras through a global solidarity movement for people’s resistance and for the pursuit of democratic and participatory paths that allow for the establishment of progressive governments committed to common welfare and social justice.
5.6. To undertake actions geared towards denouncing before multilateral bodies, and within the framework of international law, the abduction of José Manuel Zelaya, legitimate President of Honduras, that facilitated the rupture of constitutional order in Honduras. It is necessary to determine responsibility among those who participated directly in this crime, and even among those who allowed his aircraft to go in and out Costa Rica without trying to detain the kidnappers of the Honduran president.
6. SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD
6.1. The Left-wing Parties of the International Meeting of Caracas agree to demand the immediate liberation of the five Cuban heroes unfairly imprisoned in American jails. They are authentic anti-terrorist fighters that caused no harm to U.S. national security, whose work was oriented towards preventing the terrorist attacks prepared by the terrorist counterrevolution against Cuba. The Five Heroes were subject to a biased judicial process, condemned by broad sectors of humanity, and stigmatized by a conspiracy of silence by the mainstream media. Given the impossibility of winning justice via judicial means, we call upon all political left-wing parties of the world to increase actions for their immediate liberation. We call on President Obama to utilize his executive power and set these Five Heroes of Humanity free.
6.2. The International Meeting of Left-wing Parties resolutely demands the immediate and unconditional cessation of the criminal U.S. blockade that harmed the Cuban people so badly over the last fifty years. The blockade should come to an end right now in order to fulfil the will of the 187 countries that recently declared themselves against this act of genocide during the UN General Assembly.
6.3. To unite with the people of Haiti in the struggle for the return of President Jean Bertrand Aristide to his country.
6.4. We propose to study the possibility to grant a residence in Venezuela to Jean Bertrand Aristide, who was kidnapped and overthrown as Haiti’s president by U.S. imperialism.
6.5. We express the need to declare a permanent alert aimed at preventing any type of breach of the constitutional order that may hinder the process of democratic change underway in Paraguay.
6.6. We denounce the neoliberal privatizing advance in Mexico expressly in the case of the Electric Energy state-owned company, a heritage of the people, which aims through the massive firing of 45 000 workers to intimidate the union force, “Luz y Fuerza”, which constitutes another offensive of the Empire in Central and North America.
6.7. To declare our solidarity with the peoples of the world that have suffered and are still suffering imperial aggressions, especially, the 50 year-long genocidal blockade against Cuba; the threat against the people of Paraguay; the slaughter of the Palestinian people; the illegal occupation of part of the territory of the Republic of Western Sahara and the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan which today is expanding into Pakistan; the illegal sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe and the constant threat against Iran, among others.
Caracas, November 21st, 2009
DECLARATION OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF CUBA
The Left-wing Parties of the International Meeting of Caracas agree to demand the immediate liberation of the five Cuban heroes unfairly imprisoned in U.S. prisons. They are authentic anti-terrorist fighters that caused no harm to US national security, whose work was oriented towards preventing the terrorist attacks prepared by the terrorist counterrevolution against Cuba. The Five Heroes were subject to a biased judicial process, condemned by broad sectors of humanity, and stigmatized by a conspiracy of silence by the mainstream media.
Given the impossibility of winning justice via judicial means, we call upon all political left-wing parties of the world to increase actions for their immediate liberation. We call on President Obama to utilize his executive power and set these Five Heroes of Humanity free.
The International Meeting of Left-wing Parties resolutely demands the immediate and unconditional cessation of the criminal U.S. blockade that harmed the Cuban people so badly over the last fifty years. The blockade should come to an end right now in order to fulfil the will of the 187 countries that recently declared themselves against this act of genocide during the UN General Assembly.
Caracas, November 21st, 2009
SPECIAL DECLARATION ON THE COUP D’ÉTAT IN HONDURAS
We, left-wing parties of Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania, present in the international encounter of left-wing parties, reject the coup d’état against the constitutional government of citizen’s power of the President of Honduas Manuel Zelaya Rosales.
Cognizant of the situation of repression, persecution and murder against the Honduran people and the permanent military harassment against president Manuel Zelaya Rosales, which represents a breach of the rule of law in the sister nation of Honduras:
We support the actions of the national resistance front in its struggle to restore democracy.
We demand and support the sovereign right of the Honduran people to call for a national constituent assembly to establish direct democracy and to ensure the broadest political participation of the people in public affairs.
We denounce the United States intervention and its national and international reactionary right-wing allies and their connection with the coup, which hinders the construction of democracy in Honduras and in the world.
We condemn and repudiate the permanent violation of political and social human rights as well as the violation freedom of speech, promoted and perpetrated by the de facto powers, the Supreme Court of Justice, the National Congress of the Republic, the Ministry of Defence and Security since June 28, 2009.
We reiterate our demand to international governments and bodies, not to recognize the results of the general elections to be held on November 29, 2009 in Honduras, due to the lack of constitutional guarantees and the legal conditions necessary for a fair, transparent and reliable electoral process, the lack of reliable observers that can vouch for the results of this electoral process, which has already been rejected by most international governments, bodies and international public opinion.
To propose and promote an international trial against coup plotters and their accomplices in Honduras before the International Criminal Court, for the illegal actions, abuses and crimes they committed, while developing actions aimed at denouncing to the relevant bodies and in the framework of the international law, the violation of the rights and the kidnapping of the legitimate president of Honduras Manuel Zelaya Rosales, because it is necessary to establish the responsibility of those who participated directly and internally in the perpetration of this crime.
We urge national and international human rights organizations to support these measures, to carry on the campaign of denunciation and vigilance with permanent observers in face of the renewed human rights violations, particularly the persecution and sanction through the loss of jobs for political reasons against the members and supporters of the resistance and president Manuel Zelaya.
We repudiate and condemn the attacks against the diplomatic corps of the embassies of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Republic of Argentina, and the embassies of the member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA); and express our solidarity with the heroic work of the staff of these diplomatic missions, who have been victims of harassment and hostility by the coup plotters.
We agree to establish coordination among left-wing parties of the world to exert pressure to oust the de facto government and for the restoration of the constitutional president and the right of the Honduran people to install a national constituent assembly that allows for deepening direct democracy.
We urge governments, international bodies and companies to maintain and intensify economic and commercial sanctions to business accomplices and supporters of the coup in Honduras, and to maintain an attitude of vigilance, to break all relations that recognize the coup plotters and the de facto government officers, as well as to take migration control measures that hinder the movement of people who have the purpose of voting in another country where elections are held with the aim of changing the results through the transfer of votes from one country to the other.
We agree not to recognize the international and national observers of the
electoral process who are aligned and conspire to attempt to give legitimacy to an
electoral process devoid of legality and legitimacy. We demand that rather than
observing an illegal and illegitimate process, the return of the state of democratic law and the constitutional government of citizen power Honduras President Manuel Zelaya Rosales is guaranteed.
Caracas, November 21st, 2009
Special decision on a Fifth Socialist International
The international encounter of Left-wing Political parties held in Caracas on November 19, 20 and 21, 2009, received the proposal made by Commander Hugo Chavez Frias to convoke the Fifth Socialist International as a space for socialist-oriented parties, movements and currents in which we can harmonize a common strategy for the struggle against imperialism, the overthrow of capitalism by socialism and solidarity based economic integration of a new type. We assessed that proposition in terms of its historical dimension which calls for a new spirit of internationalism and agreed, for the purpose of achieving it in the short term, to create a WORKING GROUP comprised of those socialist parties, currents and social movements who endorse the initiative, to prepare an agenda which defines the objectives, contents and mechanisms of this global revolutionary body. We call for an initial constitutive event for April 2010 in the City of Caracas. Furthermore, those parties, socialist currents and social movements who have not expressed themselves on this matter can subject this proposal to the examination of their legitimate directive bodies.
Caracas, November 21, 2009
[This translation of the Commitment of Caracas and the special decision on the new international has been edited for Venezuelanalysis.com.]