We Must Confront the Neoliberal Offensive in Our America : Network “In Defense of Humanity”

On the 163rd anniversary of the birth of José Martí and in the context of the 2nd International Conference “For all and the welfare of all”;and analyzing the scenarios of the advance of reactionary forces in Our America we, members of the Network of intellectuals, artists and social movement “in Defense of Humanity present in this event consider it of utmost importance to denounce:

– the attempts to demolish the conquests obtained after a decade of victories in terms of sovereignty, social justice, and regional integration marked by the historical defeat of the FTAA through popular resistance and actions led by Chávez, Kirchner and Lula;

– the use of the hegemonic media to damage the image of the progressive governments through lies repeated and circulating false rumors and slanders:

– the continued interference of imperialism and international reaction in the internal affairs of our countries;

– the economic and financial war to provoke unrest, chaos and demoralization;

– the attempt to move the history of our continent back, mobilizing us and silencing us through an exaltation of consumerism, deceiving us with false promises of change and imposing definitively neo liberalism.

Consequently we propose:

– A call for an active solidarity in the battles of resistance of the peoples of Argentina, Brazil and the countries of ALBA against the reactionary wave;

– Support the legitímate Government of Venezuela headed by President Nicolás Maduro and the Bolivarian and Chavist people against those who have concentrated all kinds of destabilizing plans;

– the use of alternative media and social networks to deny the media campaigns of the right wing and spread the truth.

Network of intellectuals, artists and social movements “In Defense of Humanity”

Cuba – Network in Defense of Humanity leads a debate at the For all and welfare of all Congress in Havana.

The situation in Venezuela was denounced and called for international solidarity of the resistance of the peoples confronting the right wing offensive.
Organized by the Network of artists, intellectuals and social movements in Defense of Humanity and as part of the II International Conference “For All and the welfare of all’ being held in Havana.

There was a panel entitled “Neo liberalism, new scenarios in Latin America and the equilibrium in the world” that counted on the participation of important intellectual members of the Network:

Pablo González Casanova (Mexico), François Houtart (Bélgica),Fernando Martínez Heredia (Cuba), and Guillermo Castro (Panamá). The moderator was Omar González coordinator of the Network in Cuba.

It was a privilege to listen to the splendid participation of François Houtart, who made a detailed examination of the current scenario in Latin America, the only continent to put in practice post neo liberal models. His exposition characterized the process in the region, its advances, limitations, and weakness and the need now facing the systemic crisis to confront the danger of an attack by reactionary forces, and begin a possible alternative of a transition towards a model of post capitalism as a new paradigm based on the common welfare of humanity. “A society of life and not death” that does not damage the environment and favors values and human relations.

Pablo González Casanova dealt with the need to evaluate impressive Development of productive forces, especially related to the technologies of information that has been important in the second part
of the 20th century and that favored the development of an even stronger and unimaginable corporative capitalism recognized by the creators of Marxism. He insisted on the need to return to the concept of class struggles and national liberation and take into account their presence today; no longer from yesterday and the force to take experience to prevent making the same mistakes.

Guillermo Castro, for his part dealt with a Marti perspective of his support to a balance of the world. He explained how capitalism is in contradiction with the general interests of humanity. New processes are needed to preserve access of the workers, both manual as intellectual to the democratic spaces and join these experiences to the supports of theology of liberation and the Cuban Revolution. Socialism is the only alternative for national liberation, he explained.

Fernando Martínez Heredia, recalled new spaces from a geo political point of view that have opened in the region. In spite of the advances he specified Latin America continues to be the most unequal in the planet. He spoke of the challenge to the continent to advance in the midst of all kinds of attacks by the United States. For Martínez Heredia the call of an “end of the cycle” is an ambiguous generalization and it is necessary to combat defeatism and demoralization. The right wing is shrewd and liar. It uses all kinds of media: economic war, purchase of ballots, subversion, corrupt politicians, chaos and violence. The situation must analyze the relevant processes ongoing. A better distribution, sharing of some services for the poor, administrating and better government is not enough. Neither resignation nor weak propositions can be accepted.

Everything must be done to defend the people and their rights, join all the factors willing to expand welfare, the liberation of human beings, the only factor that will allow a balance in the world of which Marti spoke. Referring to the conservative restoration in Argentina, Omar González quoted a fragment of the Macri program of Government to illustrate how in such a short time he has destroyed his campaign promises, and particularly has strengthened control of the media as part of his social control. He referred also to the reach of the Law of Media that the current Argentine government intends to annul and the massive dismissal in public institutions.

Joining the session were the Venezuelan historians Carmen Bohórquez general coordinator of the Network in Venezuela and Pedro Calzadilla, former Culture Minister of the Bolivarian government. Carmen Bohórquez made a broad explanation of the situation in Venezuela and the threat of the current President of the National Assembly, Henry Ramos Allup, and the adverse conditions of the parliamentary elections in which the right wing was victorious. The vote in which, she explained the opposition did not win more votes that previously but there was a large abstentionism by the people. About two and a half million persons did not vote in the midst of a situation of brutal economic war. She explained how it was induced by the fall of oil prices, the devaluation of the currency, the shortages. The attack by the media was constant; there is no international scenario in which Venezuela is not attacked in which of one hundred news dispatches only one is balanced. Added to this is the fact that the US is in an electoral process, a period that needs “trophies of campaign” for either of the parties that consists of invasions, coups in countries and foreign governments. She recalled that still existing is the decree by Obama that Venezuela is a threat to the US.

Obama must renew it. Ask the Red for solidarity with Venezuela. Imperialism and reaction are trying to substitute the imagery of solidarity and mutual respect to the capitalist image of competition and empty minds without historical references.

Abel Prieto, advisor to the Cuban president called for this solidarity that Carmen referred to and the support of Cuba, its teachers, doctors, sports instructors and artists continue there. He also referred to the importance of the Network, that valuable solidarity with Cuba when, in 2003, in Miami the slogan was “Iraq now and Cuba later” and the discourse of Pablo González Casanova in Revolution Plaza on May 1st saying, when many friends stopped supporting us. He proposed a clause in the solidarity event with Venezuela referring to the resistance of the peoples against the current offensive of the right wing.

Atilio Borón, Argentine political expert also an active member of the Network pointed out that it is of utmost importance to reflect why it didn’t go farther. He said that the left wing throughout history underestimated often with ingenuity and optimism over obstacles the offensive of the right wing. It happened to Marx and Engels and to
Lenin.

Gramsci was the one who best evaluated the cultural instruments of the systems. We cannot underestimate the resistance of the fight wing and international capitalism, Atilio pointed out. They have the economic media, institutions, judges. The processes do not advance more not by an absences of a leadership but a world correlation of the forces did not allow them and many times the masses have been prepared for radicalization. The media concentration has wrought ravages.

Revolutionary energy was not lacking. He recalled a speech of Fidel in Chile where he spoke of the “state of possible conscience in Latin America. They have 500 years of “formatting” our heads while this period of alternatives has only a few years. There must exist, he said, subjective conditions. It is a very unequal battle; there is no end of a cycle, the class struggler does not end. There are also differences in the project of the right wing and its execution. It is a battle of ideas; we must move the resistance James Cockroft, US historian member of the Network, expressed his solidarity with Venezuela that is, the point of the iceberg of the project to restore neo liberalism. He is a Bulgarian participant, former deputy of that country who attended as observer in the Venezuelan elections and warned of the dangers of corruption and the importance to wage battle against it decidedly.

Pedro Calzadilla, who is also the Minister of Culture of the Bolivarian Government explained that no evaluation of events in Venezuela can be made unless it takes into account the oil issue. The economic groups in Venezuela act in alliance with international capitalism and the media apparatus.

Finally Omar gave the floor to François Houtart to close the panel. It must not be forgotten François said that capitalism is a System in crisis but with institutional force that counts on regimes such as fiscal paradises with laws that support them and, even, allow them to take a sovereign government to court. The jump to post capitalism is today a utopia because it cannot enter directly into socialism.

But measures must be thought of that are an alternative step, not for societies that destroy nature and create multi millionaires. It is unacceptable to create revolutionary measures that return to neo liberalism. There is no modern capitalism if it destroys nature and is unacceptable. Popular forces are there, creating new conditions and new popular forces.

The general consensus of the panel was its nigh theoretical and purposeful level and had the interest and participation of a public that well surpassed the capacity of Hall 9 of the Conventions Palace that became small for this work session of the Conference, The debate also had the participation of Chilean students and activists, as well as from Mexico and other countries who made questions and commented on certain issues that supplied diversity and efficiency to the debate.