Final declaration of the 21th Meeting of the São Paulo Forum

We, the member parties of the FSP, meeting in Mexico D.F. July 29th to August 1st of 2015 under the slogan of “Equality, Equity, Social Justice, Sustainable Development and Sovereignty, Signs of Change in Our America”, proclaim our position on various issues regarding the international situation and that of the Great Latin American and Caribbean Homeland.

We thank the Mexican FSP members, especially the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) and the Partido del Trabajo (PT) for hosting this Twenty-first Encounter at this moment when Latin American and Caribbean countries are seeking to deepen regional integration on the basis of principles of solidarity among the peoples, development with cooperation and complementarity, social justice, democracy and participation by the people.

The celebration of the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the creation of the FSP, during these historic days for Latin America and the Caribbean, result of the initiative of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil and the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz, allows us to confirm the transcendentally historic foundation of this grouping of political parties and movements with the unquestionable advances made by the forces of the Left in the region.

The Forum has significantly contributed to taking these strides forward and now that imperialism and the national oligarchies at their service continue to deepen the counter-offensive of the right wing for the express aim of returning right wing conservative forces to power, the fact that the Latin American and Caribbean left maintains a united front around this project acquires special validity and constitutes an unavoidable necessity for the future of our peoples.

Twenty-five years after the FSP was created one of the most successful and unitary experiences of Latin American and Caribbean leftists and the world, the balance of the political situation in the region is favorable for the political forces making it up.  When the FSP was created, only one nation in the region, Cuba, was governed by a party belonging to the Forum.  Today, alongside Cuba we have the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Uruguay and Venezuela.  To these we must add hundreds of subnational governments.  The left with its different accumulation processes has not lost any elections in any Latin American country in recent years after having won them.  The left has been revalidating its representation in successive electoral battles and has been removed by coups d’état whenever the right was not able to take over the government by democratic means, as in the case of Honduras and Paraguay.  Today Latin America is no longer in an era of changes, but in a change of era.

Faced with huge challenges we, revolutionaries and progressive people on the continent, must reaffirm our conviction that defending what has been achieved until today is an unavoidable duty, notwithstanding the limitations manifest in the historical processes and the errors that may be committed by the protagonists of these struggles; we must be clear that our principal  enemy is imperialism and its ally are the right-wing oligarchies which serve its interests along with their own and would like to erase all the economic, political and social conquests attained and thereby, all the national sovereignty and independence conquered.

Unity in diversity, building broad-based blocks around a common political project are the essential conditions for us to be able to continue fighting and winning this battle.  Anti-imperialism and the defense of national and regional identities around the building of a new political and social model, facing economic and ideological penetration by the imperialist powers must be the pillars, which we, men and women who are committed to the ideals of the heroes of our independence, embrace.

At this opportunity, it is very important for left-wing political parties to continue connecting mechanisms and channels of communication and relating with social movements.  We acknowledge the significant contributions of these movements to the current transformation process where in some cases they are clearly in the vanguard of revolutionary changes; we also denounce the imperialist policy of penetration into certain organizations that represent the social milieu.

The FSP recognizes and respects the presence of the struggle of the native peoples as legitimate contributions to “Another World is Possible” and as their own, different alternatives.  The native populations defend the territorial heritage of Our America against the neoliberal megaprojects of extraction that are destroying Mother Earth and the indigenous forms of social and political organization and the exercise of democracy of every native population.

A new economic and social model, as an alternative to the neoliberal model, that breaks and overcomes the capitalist system, must have a vital attribute: to break with the still existing patriarchal systems of social and political organization.  Within this framework, the FSP is committed to full equality for everyone and demands the guarantee of their Human Rights no matter what their gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.  Furthermore, the FSP is committed to public policies and affirmative actions in favor of Afro-descendants.

We, the members of FSP parties, recognize that in order to achieve a truly fair and equitable society the presence and participation of women in the different sectors of society is essential.  It is necessary to change the traditional roles and patterns that have been historically assigned and assumed in different forms by men and women, from the point of view of breaking down the domination of patriarchies; conditions must be created for the total emancipation of women, eliminating the gender gaps that still exist in the hinterlands of our countries.  The policies and strategies of our parties have to ensure, de jure and de facto, the empowerment of women in conditions of equality, with equal participation both in the public and private spheres. The recognition of the feminist agenda continues to be a challenge for left-wing parties and revolutionaries, as a transversal axis for incorporating the women’s agenda and a correct gender approach for policies, programs and actions that are being designed in the struggle against the right wing, oppressive, predatory and patriarchal capitalism, and the imperial counter-offensive of our times.

The progressive and leftist process being undertaken in Latin America and the Caribbean practically represents an exception in a world which is passing through a relative decrease in the mono-polarity of the United States towards a multipolar situation in a context of economic, social and political crises and armed conflicts with global implications such as the Israeli government’s aggression and attack on Palestinian territory, particularly in Gaza, the US and NATO attacks on Iraq and Libya, all of which has seen the growth of armed fundamentalist groups such as ISIS and external multinational aggression on Syria.  We also point to the external interference in the Ukraine by the US-EU alliance with neo-Nazi groups, tending to isolate Russia.  The contradictions between this alliance and the pro-independence movement in certain regions of the eastern Ukraine have produced confrontations with the country’s army.  We condemn the Ukrainian attacks on the civilian population and we demand an immediate cease-fire.  The FSP demands full respect for the sovereignty of the Ukraine.

These conflicts are expression of the new design of world geopolitics where the US tries to affirm the validity of hegemony or to react to the pressures they suffer.  In Iraq, one of the main oil-producing regions is in dispute.  In the case of the crisis in the Ukraine, there is a reaction by Putin’s government to reject NATO provocation, aggressive and expansionist military organization, carrying out military man oeuvres to secure his control on the Russian border.  In response to sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and EU, the Russian government decided to embargo the purchase of food to these economies.  This measure severely affects farmers in these countries and encourages new suppliers especially from agro—exporters in Latin America.

We reaffirm our commitment with the contents of earlier declarations, especially at the Twentieth Encounter held in La Paz, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, in August of 2014.  We support the constitution of the Palestinian State in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations Organization, with sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since 1967; we declare our solidarity with the struggle of the Saharawi people who are being urged by the Polisario Front and the RASD for territorial rights that are theirs and which have been denied them by the Moroccan monarchy since 1975.  Furthermore, we demand that the Security Council and other UN monitoring bodies maintain a watchful eye on human rights in the territories occupied by the Kingdom of Morocco.  We congratulate President Mahjamed Abdelaziz of the RASD and urge the governments of Our America to recognize this government, permitting the opening of diplomatic offices in their countries.

Along these lines, we also support the full independence of Puerto Rico and we demand immediate freedom for Oscar López Rivera; we condemn all forms of colonialism in particular the persistence of European domination over countries such as Martinique, Guadalupe, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Cayman Islands, St. Eustache, St. Maarten and so-called French Guyana and we reaffirm their right to self-determination.  Likewise, we claim the recovery of Argentine sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands (Falklands) as a Latin American and Caribbean cause.  We also express our unequivocal will to maintain Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, free of war, with relationships of cooperation and complementarity among our countries.   As Pope Francis suggested, we therefore support all initiatives that aim to overcome the differences between Bolivia and Chile, on the basis of dialogue and respect for international law, via a sovereign access seaport for Bolivia.

We express our solidarity with the peoples of the Dominican Republic on the 50th anniversary of the US military invasion and occupation in April of 1965.

Within this framework of military confrontations, there is also the offensive mounted by neoliberal and imperialist capitalist forces through their multinational corporations, companies and the international bank, seeking to control natural resources especially forests, the seas and sources of water, that generate socio-environmental, territorial and cultural conflicts and systematically violate the rights of peasant, native and Afro-descendant communities on the five continents, communities that ought to be consulted in accordance with the United Nations declaration  on the collective rights of indigenous peoples in order to respect their territorial rights.

Recent developments in Europe have confirmed the true political nature of the European Union and its model of integration – a process that, contrary to the processes of Our America, is characterized by its aim of economic and political dominion by the gigantic multinational groups and a leadership of powers that is ever more arrogant, violent and intransigent as demonstrated in the case of Greece.  The Greek case has demonstrated that the EU of “solidarity and cohesion” does not exist. We express our solidarity with the workers and peoples of Greece and Europe in their resistance to EU impositions, in their fight to defend their social and labor rights achieved over decades of struggle against privatizations of state social bodies and strategic sectors of national economies, in defense of democracy and national sovereignty. From the FSP we would like to denounce the process occurring in the Spanish Government of cutting back freedoms and escalating repression, whose purpose is to neutralize the rise of popular movements in favor of social justice and political change. The new Law for Citizen Security commonly known as the “Ley Mordaza” [“gag law”], reforms to the Criminal Code and other juridical norms that reintroduce life sentences de facto, associated to a line of clearly abusive use of the Special Police Intervention Units, are all the clear expression of this climate. The peoples of Spain and Greece showed that it is possible to turn back electoral trends that strengthen the policies of tax adjustments that are antidemocratic and anti-popular.

The FSP struggles to defend the environment, natural resources, the seas, the forests, the water, the hydrocarbons, the rich and extensive biodiversity and the rights of Mother Earth. It also fights against the disastrous impact of the increase in greenhouse gases, on the way to the COP-21 on climate change in Paris in December of 2015, seeking an agreement and global commitments that would stop the advancing deterioration of our Mother Earth and would also stimulate an economy and sustainable production culture that would be renewable, with practices of solidarity and “Good Living-Living Well”, overcoming the type of primary-exporter economies submitted to the world markets and motivating policies that allow the development of industrialization processes that generate honest jobs for our countries.

Thus, we express our solidarity with the position on ecology, humanism and the claims of the government and people of Ecuador in their fight against the transnational oil company Chevron that has caused so much damage to its Amazonia region and to peoples in the world.

We support the efforts directed towards continuing to stimulate the participation of left-wing political groups in the Caribbean in the FSP, directed to greater integration among our parties, movements and peoples.

At present, two highly significant political elements are flourishing.  One of these is the indisputable continuity of the advance of progressive, leftist forces in Latin America and the Caribbean.  We congratulate the peoples of Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay for the victories won in their presidential elections of 2014 with their respective electoral tickets of Evo Morales Ayma – Alvaro Garcia Linera, Dima Rousseff – Michel Temer and Tabare Vasquez – Raul Sendic.

We express our support of and trust in the historic leadership of the Cuban Revolution and in the Communist Party of Cuba leading the process of updating the economic and social model towards a consolidation of prosperous and sustainable socialism, with great strategic and economic importance for the country and for all of Latin America and the Caribbean.

We celebrate the recent victories in Cuba such as freedom for the Cuban Five who were imprisoned in the US because they fought against the terrorism being inflicted on the Cuban people, and the fact that Cuba has been taken off the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

We support the sovereign decision of Cuba to reestablish diplomatic relations with the US, on the road towards eventual normalization of bilateral relations without making any concessions of the principles defended by the Revolution throughout over 56 years. It has been this transcendental event, fruit of the resistance of the Cuban people and the permanent solidarity of their Latin American and Caribbean brothers and sisters.  According To US President Barack Obama himself in his speech of December 17 last year the policy that had wanted to isolate Cuba “caused regional and international isolation” for the United States.

Despite this, the criminal, unfair and inhuman commercial, financial and economic blockade of the Island is still in place and even though the Cuban people and government have been able to move on, we must continue our fight for lifting this barrier.  We must also fight to prevent the application of the extraterritorial laws with which the US would like to pressure the governments and companies that are Cuba’s friends and to deactivate the US military base at Guantanamo and the return of this territory to Cuban sovereignty.

We celebrate the social and spiritual message of Pope Francis, the first Latin American Pope, on his trip through Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, inviting social movements to fight for land, to have a roof over their heads and honest jobs for all, and inviting youth to the protest with proposed solutions for the problems with which they are dealing.

Central America is the scenario for a political situation combining the leftist governments (the FSLN in Nicaragua and the FMLN in El Salvador), growing and significant institutional spaces in the hands of leftists (LIBRE in Honduras and the Frente Amplio in Costa Rica) and expressions of popular mass struggle against the power of the oligarchies which have entered into a serious crisis for their legitimacy, detonated by corruption scandals (Honduras and Guatemala), denouncing the militarist regimes of Honduras and Guatemala that continue systematically assassinating and imprisoning opposition political and social leaders while the material authors as the intellectuals of these actions continue to go unpunished.

We condemn the criminalization of the social struggles in various countries, especially in Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Guatemala and Honduras.  In Guatemala and Honduras, the military-oligarchy alliances governing these countries increase their repression against the indigenous peoples and movements claiming defense for natural assets, land and their territories that have been invaded and pillaged by national and transnational companies. We express our concern over the escalated violence in Paraguay and the persecution and criminalization of the popular movement. We repudiate the murders of peasant leaders, journalists and social militants.  We demand the freedom of political prisoners and the immediate clarification on the massacre at Curuguaty.  We are encouraged by the significant advance of Paraguayan leftist forces with the Frente Guazú, which in November of this year will be participating in municipal elections in 85% of the country’s municipalities.

We support the political and social experiences that demand substantial changes to laws the permit corruption and limit the democratic electoral participation of the leftist forces and of the diverse expressions in society.

We also express our concern about the serious situation of human rights violations inflicted on South American, Caribbean, Central American and Mexican migrant workers, all crossing the territory of Mexico where there is a humanitarian crisis to get to the U.S.: we demand respect for their lives and physical integrity and their rights, and in the non-criminalization of the migrants with the guarantee of the right to human mobility or migration.  We are concerned about the arrests of hundreds of girls, boys and youths by US migratory authorities and we condemn the xenophobic attitudes of conservative groups in the country that seek to deport them, thereby violating their own laws.  We stand in solidarity with the US migrant movement in its demand for integral migratory reforms.  Furthermore, we condemn the murders of Afro-descendants committed by police and the permanent criminalization of Latino men and women migrant workers in their territory.

In that context we must stress that the revolutionary hegemony exercised by the Sandinistas in power in Nicaragua where we have seen great advances in the reduction of poverty and social inequalities, democratizing the economy, installing a political model having popular participation, gender equality, protection of Mother Earth and the restitution of the rights of the Nicaraguan people; this is all expressed by the great popular support for the Sandinistas over the past few years.  The current Sandinista government led by Nicaragua’s President Commander Daniel Ortega has guaranteed these improved living conditions for the Nicaraguan people within the framework of sustained economic growth that is substantially consolidated by the building and start-up of the interoceanic canal.

The current FMLN government led by Salvador Sánchez Ceren, member of the general high command in the civil war, negotiator and signee of the Peace Agreement in 1992, continues and deepens the democratic transition changes in El Salvador that were begun in 2009 with the first government by that party in the midst of a ferocious media counter-offensive and direct actions on the country’s public life.  Likewise, we reiterate our unconditional support for the process of changes the Salvadoran people are experiencing and we express our solidarity in the face of the destabilization campaign promoted by the oligarchy and local and foreign pro-coup forces against the legitimately elected FMLN government, with the unequivocal wish to revert the transformations achieved and recover their privileges.  We call on our members to participate and we congratulate the FLMN on holding their First Congress in November of 2015.

In order to advance the occupation and consolidation of spaces from which we can effectively defend the peoples’ interests, as well as for leftists’ access to power to undertake the necessary social and structural transformations, the unity of political projects with actions becomes supremely necessary, even in elections, of all the organized expressions of the left and at the level of every social and revolutionary popular movement.

We declare our support of comrade Evo Morales and his government and of MAS-IPSP; at the same time we congratulate the Bolivian people for the great achievements obtained in this process of profound changes, building the Plurinational State, applying an economic model that generates surpluses and distributes them to benefit the entire population through distinct mechanisms, the start of an industrialization process as the result of the State recovering ownership of natural resources, the protagonist nature of social movements in the revolutionary transformation and socialism’s connection with the emancipating project of native peoples.

We demand that the 43 teachers’ college students at Ayotzinapa, Guerrero reappear with life along with the more than 30,000 “disappeared” persons, as well as justice and truth for the more than 100,000 dead.  We condemn the repressive and punitive police actions of the Mexican government towards the social movements especially towards teachers and we demand that this ceases immediately.

In Chile we stand in solidarity with the impulse of the structural reforms being proposed by the government of President Michelle Bachelet, at the head of the Nueva Mayoria coalition, for a new Constitution that surpasses the one inherited from the military dictatorship and the demand of the Constituent Assembly spurred on by the leftist forces inside and outside the government and the struggle of the Chilean people.

In response to these achievements, the right wing and the fascist ultra-right are again trying to implement a destabilization strategy largely as a reaction to its incapacity to politically defeat the popular forces that have been victorious in successive elections.

Mexico is one of the few Latin American nations where no left-wing party has yet reached the federal government.  In spite of the obvious failure of a political economy, that has not yielded any fruit for 30 years.  Thirty years of economic stagnation, from crises to devaluations to recessions.  Insecurity, crime, corruption and impunity are daily occurrences.  Facing this panorama, we make a call for unity of the left and the social organizations so that they may constitute a viable alternative for the Mexican people to again take up the path to development and accompany the transforming process that is currently being developed in most of the countries of Our America.

As part of the global imperialism and the right-wing counter-offensive, we need to warn the region’s parties and governments about the danger posed by the conservative renewed actions in our countries through a vast range of subversive instruments directed and coordinated by the US along with right-wing political and social organizations, transnational companies, the media and other counterrevolutionary actors who are threatening governments that, in their opinion, constitute an obstacle to or affect their global interests.

Nowadays something that could be called “unconventional warfare” is being waged, such as the example of the military aggression in Libya and certain midterm political influence practices combined with greater radicalism in destabilizing actions attempting to cause the so-called “change of regime” by using “supposedly popular” uprisings, terrorist cells and imperialist interventions that may end up as armed conflict such as in the case of Syria.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is a democracy besieged by imperialism and its allies.  In fact, it is being submitted to a permanent war on political, economic and psychological fronts.  President Obama’s decree declaring Venezuela as an unusual threat to its security and declaring a national emergency is a clear declaration of war and a threat to peace in the region.  The media campaign to discredit the government and governmental institutions aims to weaken popular sovereignty; actions undertaken by some dubious human rights NGOs and the economic warfare accompanied by subversive and violent actions seek to demoralize the people and attack the government using undemocratic means.  Nonetheless, in the midst of difficult conditions, the Venezuelan people are organizing and mobilizing to participate in elections and give the world an overwhelming victory next December 6th in the parliamentary elections where the Chavista, Bolivarian and anti-imperialist peoples are going to triumph.

We must accompany the development of the Venezuelan situation, supporting dialogue initiatives and paying attention to the December 6th legislative elections, showing solidarity and unconditionally providing support for the PSUV and the Gran Polo Patriotico, which recently celebrated a victory in the last election with a record participation of 3,162,400 voters.

In Brazil, after the fourth federal electoral victory of the PT, PC do B and other allied parties and movements in October of 2014, the rightist and conservative forces launched a political offensive with active collaboration by the mass media, sectors of the Judicial Power and public power investigative and coercive apparatuses in the aim of destabilizing the government of President Dilma Rousseff, to criminalize and try the PT and the Brazilian left and to discredit and disable comrade former–President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Taking advantage of the corruption investigation of Petrobas officials, the attacks by neoliberal forces were aiming to change legislation regarding that enterprise and Pre Sal oil explorations, seeking to create an atmosphere favorable for transnational oil companies. The FSP shows solidarity with the Brazilian left and stands for the defense of democracy, for constitutional legality and the legitimate mandate of President Dilma Rousseff in opposition to any attempted coup by the Brazilian right wing.

We express our support and solidarity for President Rafael Correa Delgado and the members of the Frente Unidos and the Alianza PAIS as well as for all the Ecuadorian people who are facing belligerent manifestations convoked by the Ecuadorian conservative right wing in their attempt to gain strength through the consolidation of a “soft coup”. For these reasons we support the so-called National Dialogue being convoked by the Ecuadorian government which, along with the process of the Citizen Revolution, is dealing with the task of building a more equitable, just and fraternal country. We make a call on all Ecuadorians to defend everything they have attained and their Government, as well as being permanently vigilant to possible non-democratic interventions by groups in the bourgeoisie who would like to return to the past, thereby preventing any continuance in improving living conditions for vast sectors in populations who have historically been excluded.

Following up on and denouncing the Bilateral Investment Treaties signed by our countries in the last decade of the twentieth century during the dark boom of neoliberalism deserves special mention. At this time, their application may constitute a profound economic destabilizing factor and instrument of international blackmail for our countries, in violation of our sovereignty.  These media, economic, political and social strategies that are implemented on national and international levels often precede direct military invasions but they are also present in the application of precepts of so-called intelligent power being implemented in recent years.

All these antidemocratic processes against our peoples are still being executed these days, like the Vulture Funds that attempted to make inroads in Argentina, and they constitute a threat on Latin America and the Caribbean by using financial capital instruments.  We are dealing with a brand new attack that would like to recover neoliberalism’s control over our governments. Therefore, we emphasize the efforts and we stand in solidarity with the government of Argentina led by Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, to stop this new international financial attack in its tracks.

In April of 2011, the governments of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru signed the creation of the Pacific Alliance (AP) that, according to the Declaration of Lima, attempts to “encourage regional integration as well as greater growth, development and competitiveness” of the economies of their countries and to “advance progressively towards the aim of attaining free circulation of goods, services, capital and persons”.  In 2012, negotiations were again taken up for the signing of the Strategic Trans-Pacific Economic Cooperation Treaty (TPP in its English-language acronym) regarding multilateral free trade involving 12 nations: USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada and the Latin American countries Mexico, Peru and Chile.  In this same regard many of our countries are developing activities around denunciations of the other forms of interference through treaties such as the negotiated TISA whose contents, despite the secrecy of these negotiations, have switched on a red warning light according to information we have been able to access.

Both AP and the TPP seek to promote Free Trade Treaties (TLCs) with the Pacific Rim countries and until now, they have had dire results for our countries.  We are looking at a creation of the US and the imperialist power governments that seek to destroy the economic, commercial, political and cultural integration of the Latin American and Caribbean peoples, expressed in the different North American processes.  The FSP rejects these two forms of subordinating to the great powers.

Within this context, we stress the importance of the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) meetings held in Fortaleza (Brazil) in 2014 and in Ufa (Russia) in 2015 and their decisions that created the New Development Bank and the “Contingent Reserve Arrangement”.  Also the meetings of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization between the BRICS and UNASUR and between China and the CELAC coordination and the G-77 and China Summit.  These represent important arenas for discussion and sovereign cooperation among the blocs that share their uneasiness about the current mechanisms of global governance that still answers to the international scenario established more than half a century ago and which no longer fits reality.

From the viewpoint of Latin American unity and integration, as well as South-South relations, it is important to be more poactive in strengthening all integration mechanisms and regional political forums such as UNASUR and CELAC, the instrument for Latin American and Caribbean discussions.    Likewise, Mercosur and the Complementary Area established among them, ALBA, PETROCARIBE and CARICOM, together constitute the fourth largest economy in the world.  In this regard, the FSP must move forward on concrete proposals that consolidate these integration processes and when these integration mechanisms propose the constitution of parliaments, we support the concept that they should be composed according to the principle of plurality.  Nevertheless, we see coordination and exchanges among parliaments belonging to the FSP party members as essential.

We support the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace and Freedom from Colonialism, approved at the Second CELAC Summit in Havana in January of 2014, as a historical political document with special significance, specifying and defending the rights of our peoples to sovereignly decide their own fates without any external interference.  We support the efforts of CELAC as it moves forward to build a strategic project of genuinely Latin American and Caribbean integration.

We are pleased to see the results attained at the Seventh Summit of the Americas held in Panama last April where the capacity of our countries to stand firm in the face of imperialist hegemonic pretentions was demonstrated. The participation of Cuba for the first time at these Summit meetings and the practically unanimous backing for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as it deals with attacks by the US government was representative of Latin American and the Caribbean action.

It is fundamental for Mercosur to continue with the process of extending the integration initiated in the Southern Cone by carrying out the measures that are necessary and vital for its consolidation on all levels especially in the development of the Social and Productive Mercosur initiative. Within this framework, we must give a definitive push forward to the incorporation of Bolivia and Ecuador as full members, the unmistakable sign of the solidity of the process of Mercosur growth and the growth of the region on an international scale.  Taking up the regional initiative again needs the focal processes of integration and the regional supply chains to be accelerated, along with energy integration and infrastructure, strategic plans, social action and the consolidation of Banco Sur.

Achieving fair and democratic peace in Colombia is fundamental for the stability of the region.  We resolutely support the FARC-EP/Colombian government dialogue and we stress the need for permanent bilateral cease-fire and the humanization of the conflict.  We espouse the conclusions of the Second Forum for Peace in Colombia in Montevideo in June of 2015.  We are pleased that the agreement reached by the parties at the negotiating table last July 12th to invite a delegate of the UN Secretary General and a delegate from the UNASUR Presidency to the Cease Fire Sub-commission for the discussion about monitoring and checking on what has been agreed on the issue.  We are pleased about the appointment of comrade José Bayardi of the Frente Amplio of Uruguay by the UNASUR Pro-Tempore Presidency to fulfill said function. We support and urge the formal opening of negotiations with the ELN and the start of contacts with the EPL. We are pleased by and see as being highly positive the new unilateral cease-fire decreed by the FARC and we urge the government of President Santos to make maximum efforts to attain true de-escalation of the conflict.

We call upon everyone to wage the battle represented by the upcoming presidential elections in Argentina in October of this year, backing and supporting the Daniel Scioli-Carlos Zanini ticket.  These elections will again be intense, with popular forces and the left against the right wing and the mass media, which continue to play the role of principal “opposition parties”.  That victory is of great importance for the continuation of the process of economic, social and political transformation in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

We demonstrate our concern over the setback produced in the case of the government of Peru, which, having won the election with the leftist forces that are part of FSP and social movements, is at present aligned with the ideological and economic forces of neoliberalism.  The Peruvian people are fighting against the continuance of neoliberalism and pro-imperialism with a democratic and patriotic government.  We stand in solidarity with and support the peasant, native, worker, youth, Afro-descendant and women’s social movements which, along with the leftist and progressive organizations, are marching towards the general elections of April 2016, building the bases of a proposal for democratic and patriotic government, moral regeneration and solidarity, pro-Latin American spirit and with one single program, one single front and one candidate elected in open primaries.

Therefore, we continue to move forward building our own paths arising from our own reality and our own history.  We must stimulate and coordinate the joint convocation to parties and social organizations, communities and native peoples and Afro-descendant communities in the region to participate in the development of the Latin American and Caribbean integration process, making this cause one of our principal political claims.  Only the development of this integrationist process guarantees self-determination and the sovereignty of our countries; once our peoples take up this banner, the process will be irreversible.

We pay homage to the legacy of the men and women who founded the FSP, symbolized by those who do not accompany us here with their physical presence but who are ever-present in our struggles: Gladys Marín, Schafick Handal, Tomás Borge, Hugo Chávez, Ana Maria Stuart and Javier Diez-Canseco.

Finally, we thank the FMLN of El Salvador for their offer to host the Twenty-second FSP Encounter in 2016.

Mexico City, August 1, 2015

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