Afro-Descendents at Sao Paulo Forum
In Caracas, Venezuela, on July 28, 2019, Afro-Descended participants in the annual Sao Paulo Forum met to discuss the state of their various social movements.
We, Afro-descendants of our America and the Caribbean, African women and men convened by the historical and ancestral becoming that contemplates the struggle for equality under the principles of solidarity, love, respect, recognition, sovereignty, independence and dignity, we positively value the realization of the AFRODESCENDENT MEETING OF OUR AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN within the framework of the XXV Meeting of the Forum of Sao Paulo.
Almost a third of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean is of African descent so it is right to recognize and make visible the Afro-descendant theme in this edition and should be made permanent in the next meetings. For this reason, we urge left-wing political parties to include on their agendas within the framework of the International Decade for People of African Descent and Reparations, considering that the eradication of racism is vital in the construction of Socialism.
We recognize, despite the invisibilization by patriarchal historiography, the political, social, cultural, spiritual, military and economic contributions that black and Afro-descendant women have made in the era of slavery, in the founding of cumbes, quilombos, palenques, candombes and maroons, in the wars of independence and in the various political processes in America and the Caribbean, and their constant prominence as active and leading participants in political processes and resistance against all kinds of oppression. We also reject the invisibilization of women as benchmarks of struggles and achievements of the Afro people.
“The eradication of racism is vital in the construction of Socialism.”
We also confirm our inescapable commitment to the struggle of Afro-descendant youth, a sector that receives mainly the onslaught of neoliberalism that seeks to leave it without historical memory.
We consider, that it is not enough to address the fight against imperialism only as a diaspora, a new international geopolitical strategy is strictly necessary that synergistically links us to the struggles that social movements and left-wing political parties are waging on the African continent for the emancipation of peoples. That is why we affirm that Revolutionary Pan-Africanism is a form of anti-imperialist struggle defined towards the political unity of Africa, South America and the Caribbean, a South-South unit, on which Commander Chávez noted: “In Africa, South America and the Caribbean there are the poles that will balance the universe.”
We express as People and Communities of African Descent, our outrage at the international siege that the US government, led by its President Donald Trump and supported by the stateless opposition of imperialism, maintains against the Venezuelan people. We also reject the gringa’s (US) interference committed to a change of government through continued coup d’état and foreign military intervention, using a contempted National Assembly, articulated by the wave of media lies spread by the owners of the major media, as a function of justifying to the world any action outside international law and the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. We also reject the ethnic criminalization, persecution and extermination of social leaders in Haiti, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, and among other African countries and their diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean.
“We reject the gringa’s (US) interference committed to a change of government through continued coup d’état and foreign military intervention.”
The people of Venezuela are determined to defend their homeland against any enemy following the historical struggle of indigenous people, Africans and their descendants towards victory, expressed greatly in popular power, based on participatory democracy and leading the way in the spotlight.
That is why the Social Movements of African Descent gathered in this Forum,
1. Organize and conduct the Afro-Descendant meeting within the framework of the editions of the Forum of Sao Paulo.
2. To incorporate the Pan-Africanist perspective of South – South Unity, as a mechanism to combat imperialism, promoting the multipolar world underpinned by the Diplomacy of Peoples and inspired by the legacies of Bolivar, Chávez, Nkrumah, Garvey, among others and other pan-Africanists from Africa, Our America and the Caribbean.
3. We urge left-wing political parties to include in their program agendas of the Afro-descendant ethnic element and the pan-African perspective as a mechanism for integration among peoples, based on a strategy that facilitates the empowerment of countries that have suffered setbacks or veered toward neoliberalism. In this sense, we are committed to promoting strategic alliances with different social movements and left-wing parties in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to halt the advancement of neoliberalism and imperialism.
4. We encourage social movements fighting imperialism to break down the language barriers that impede effective communication; as well as tackling media manipulation in order to consolidate and deepen the integration processes within the framework of Africa’s political unity and its diaspora.
5. Consider incorporating Afro-descendant women with their own voice into the platform of the Forum of Sao Paulo in order to ensure gender balance in the editions of this event. And use this forum as a platform to demand justice in the case of leaders who, like Marielle Franco, have sacrificed their lives for justice and equality.
6. We form the Afro-Descendant Secretary of the Forum of Sao Paulo in order to follow up on the agreements and commitments made in each edition.
7. We reject the unilateral coercive measures and economic, financial and diplomatic blockade that the United States government, currently in the hands of Donald Trump, and the European Union are applying against the Venezuelan people, as they are actions of neo-slavery, neocolonialist, fascist and racist which must be condemned by international society as crimes against humanity.
8. We repudiated the terrorist acts fostered by the Venezuelan stateless opposition in May 2017 when various hate crimes were committed against people of African descent, including the young Orlando Figuera who was burned alive, in the midst of an opposition demonstration, a fact that must be condemned by the international community, a fact that was omitted by the UN High Commissioner for DD. HH in its July 2019 report.
9. Organize the Pan-Africanist Social Forum based on the Diplomacy of Peoples.
10. We reaffirm the inescapable commitment to defend until every last breath of our lives, the full development of peoples and the right to self-determination, we also alert the world to the imperial actions of the United States and the European Union since, among other evils, they endanger life on the planet.
Venceremos!!! (We will conquer)
Translation by Djibo Sobukwe, a Black Alliance for Peace supporter.