Integral and Popular Agrarian Reform Will Be the Central Axis of the VII Cloc Congress

From June 25 to 30 of this year, the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations (CLOC – La Via Campesina), in its 25 years of history as a movement of continental articulation of rural organizations, peasants, indigenous peoples, artisanal fishermen, afrodescendant populations, rural workers, women and youth, will hold its VII Continental Congress at the Niceto Pérez School in the Güira de Melena municipality, province of Artemisa, Cuba.

This is a historic moment that will be animated by the spirit and strength of the revolutionary, brave and heroic people who are expanding immense revolutionary force and mystique from this small large island, which has been and continues to be the beacon of hope and utopia to be reached by the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean and of the world. Moreover, this year the Cuban Revolution celebrates its 60th anniversary, demonstrating to the world that it is possible to build Socialism, a new society of women and men, a society of equality among all, of justice, of rights for all, of dignity to human life, of new values, solidarity and popular organization, of popular power that emanates from the people.

The VII Congress will be attended by all the diversity of organizations and peoples that are part of this great rural movement of Latin America and the Caribbean, and also by delegates from all the regions where La Via Campesina International is organized, as well as guests from allied organizations. It is estimated that approximately 450 delegates, leaders of 85 peasant organizations, native peoples, artisanal fishermen and agricultural workers from 21 countries in the regions of South America, Central America and the Caribbean will be present in this space. They will bring with them their experiences of struggle, organization, production and construction of political thought, which will converge in the advancement of the political and organizational unity of CLOC/LVC.

The V Youth Assembly is part of the VII Congress with the motto: Youth from the countryside and the city: Build Popular Power, which will be held on June 25; then, on June 26, the VI Women’s Assembly will be held with the motto: With Feminism, We Build Socialism. Both spaces defended and constructed by these subjects of struggle, in which they dialogue and build their own strategies of struggle for young people and women, but mainly they dialogue and present, from their particular perspectives, important contributions that qualify and advance the political thought and struggle of rural movements towards more democratic, participatory and egalitarian spaces, with the effective participation of women and young people.

On June 27, there will be a moment of exchange of delegates in productive experiences of cooperatives of the Association of Small Farmers of Cuba – ANAP, to know the processes of organization of the peasant and agro-ecological production and the processes of political organization that are also developed in this and in all the spaces of the social, community, cultural and productive life of the Cubans. And from June 28 to 30, the VII Congress of the CLOC/LVC will be held with the slogan: From the territory: unity, struggle and resistance, For Socialism and the sovereignty of the peoples, slogan that expresses the central objectives that this VII Congress will fulfill: To deepen the unity among the peasant, indigenous and afro-descendant organizations of the Latin American continent; To reaffirm the struggle of the peoples of the countryside against the agro-export model of capitalism for the countryside and, To defend Food Sovereignty as the political proposal of the organizations of the countryside to promote dignity, justice, self-determination and life in the countryside.

Axes of debate

The theme of Unity will be approached from the perspective of its strengthening at all levels, continental, national and local, an element that is essential to resist the onslaught of neoliberalism on the continent. This unity must be built on solid and lasting foundations in daily political and struggle practice and action, and so that it promotes a deep alliance of the working class in order to face the great challenges posed by history and for the peoples of the countryside and the city to stand up to confront them.

The horizon towards Socialism will be reaffirmed as the new society that is yearned for by all and that we contribute to its construction from the territories and daily struggles of the peoples of the countryside. And in this historic moment that the continent is living, reaffirming socialism presupposes defending the sovereignty and self-determination of the peoples, where each population is sovereign over its country, territory, its natural resources and political and economic policies.

A Comprehensive and Popular Agrarian Reform will be another central axis of the Congress: the historic banner of CLOC/LVC that becomes so urgent and necessary in the present moment when foreign capital sets its eyes and interests on the continent’s lands, territories and natural assets to resolve its financial crises. Land and territory for peasants, native and afro-descendant peoples are their living, working and food production spaces to generate food sovereignty with agroecology. This axis will be developed in a special framework to commemorate Cuban peasants for the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Popular Agrarian Reform Law, which took place on May 17.

The understanding of the peasantry and its historical role in this political, social and economic context of Latin America and the Caribbean will be revived and deepened, as will the contributions of the worldviews of the original peoples and black populations in defense of territories, common goods, Mother Earth and the construction of a society of Buen Vivir (Good Living).

And the other axis to be approached in greater depth from the Continental Assembly of women will be Peasant and Popular Feminism, which is one of the accumulated political, formative and organizational processes of peasant, indigenous and black women of CLOC, and which presents the contributions of rural women to the peasant struggle and the construction of a socialist society, in which women and men walk side by side, on an equal footing, without violence or discrimination.

In the VII Congress of CLOC-LVC on the land of Martí, Fidel, Vilma Espín, Haydee Santa María and millions of Cubans who believe in and build socialism, the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean are called upon to continue fighting for the emancipation and sovereignty of the peoples and to develop new struggles in the face of the new challenges, because history teaches us that the peoples do not surrender in the face of adversity, they rebel, resist and win.

From the territory, unity, struggle and resistance!

For Socialism and the sovereignty of peoples!

Iridiani Graciele Seibert (Movement of Peasant Women) and Jaime Amorim (MST). ALAI Magazine (Latin America in Movement)