‘Foro de Sao Paulo’ and the strategic challenges of …

 June 20th, 2016.

 This week, from 22 to 26 June, will be convened en San Salvador, capital of El Salvador, the 22nd Meeting of the ‘Foro de São Paulo’.
By José Reinaldo Carvalho*
The ‘Foro de Sao Paulo’[1] is an articulation of progressive and left forces throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and it attracts attention from all over the world, and besides than a hundred political parties from Latin America, the event counts with the presence of political forces from other continents. Its existence is the most complete demonstration of the permanent search for unity of the left wing, as an indispensable condition to carry out the anti-imperialist struggle and progressive changes in the region.
Founded in 1990, at acme of the counter-revolution that resulted in the collapse of the socialist countries, and when the offensive of US imperialism, unipolar in that epoch, and world reaction against democratic and social achievements of the peoples were stronger, the ‘Foro de Sao Paulo’ is the greater and more durable articulation of left forces worldwide.
With aim to ensure the unity in diversity of the left established itself as an anti-imperialist character coordination in the struggle for democracy, the rights of peoples, national sovereignty, regional integration, world peace and socialism,  at the peculiar conditions of the time and safeguarded the specific national situations.
‘Foro de Sao Paulo’ is an important tool to unify the voice and actions of the Latin American left in the fight against neo-liberalism, conservatism, dictatorial legacies, the harmful economic policies on workers’ rights and neo-colonialism.
Whenever the ‘Foro de Sao Paulo’ meets, the Latin American and Caribbean peoples have much to gain, because its resolutions and action plans encourage the struggle for democracy and national sovereignty in the region.
As in all meetings of the ‘Foro de Sao Paulo’, the final assembly is preceded by working meetings of regional secretariats, the holding of thematic workshops debating concreteness, observing local and sectoral peculiarities.  These meetings are necessary to inform clearly the development of the action plan and the final declaration. The meetings of the Forum of Sao Paulo are also propitious occasions to convene sectoral meetings of trade unions, women, youth, parliamentarians and activists of antiracist and cultural movements, which greatly contributes to strengthen the links between the political forces and social movements. Hence the importance of the presence of representatives of these movements, in addition to political parties.
As an active membership of the Working Group, jointly to the Worker’s Party (PT), who is in charge of the Executive Secretariat, the Communist Party of Brazil gives, since the creation of FSP, its contribution to the success of the articulation of these political forces. This is a factor of unity in its strengthening in the implementation of collectively adopted decisions in the general meetings and meetings of the Working Group.
The central document that will be discussed in the plenary of the 22nd Meeting makes a rich quantitative and qualitative balance, noting among other things that the Forum has established itself as “Latin American left tool in the fight against neoliberalism.” It also highlights its “anti-imperialist identity” and condition of a “meeting space” in which political parties and movements of various origins add up their political efforts. “The political and ideological diversity, reason of confrontation and divisions in the past, both on the left in general, and among the members of the Forum, in particular, has become a wealth factor of debate and exchange of ideas, generation of proposals and joint actions having the defeat of neoliberalism as a central goal,” the document detaches.
In this moment, the left is facing higher challenges, bearing in mind the assumption of the unit. Humanity is under escalating threats, use of force, new type of coups, militarization, arms race, proliferation of military bases and interventions. All this played by US imperialism and its allies in the European Union, which destroy countries, plunder the natural resources of people, occupy territories, promote State terrorism and intend stifle democratic-popular experiences in construction in Latin America.
Latin America and the Caribbean are experiencing a historic crossroads. Or go on to deepen the process of change, consolidating the social and political achievements, strengthening the independence and integration or get back, succumbing to neo-colonialism and oppressive policies of imperialism and ruling classes, if the left forces take the path of yielding, of class conciliation, lack of vigilance and politically and ideologically disarm in front of the brutal enemy offensive.
The moment requires resistance and struggle and, above all, safe steps to establish the hegemony of leftist forces in the electoral and legislative fields toward the national executive power of national and local government institutions, including the judiciary, the mass struggle, aiming union trades, youth, women and popular movements. To reach this it is essential a wise and ample policy of alliances, with the necessary demarcations against forces that present themselves as centrists, being in essence reactionary and from right wing. It is also essential to the protagonist role of the left in the struggle of ideas the creation of own vehicles and activity in social networks, with the occupation of spaces in the media, while combating monopoly of private groups.
To meet these challenges, the Latin American left forces need unite themselves around a strategic program, which, safeguarding the national peculiarities and the political and ideological independence of each party and movement, give common answers to tactical and strategic problems. Among them the anti-imperialist and anti-neoliberal struggle, clash with the conservative policies under the hegemony of monopoly-finance capital; the opposition to the interventionist and warmongering plans, advocating peace and reaffirming the region as a “zone of peace”, equates combating underdevelopment and social inequality, propose structural reforms, such as, among others, urban and agrarian reform, political reform, media democratization, the distribution of income and wealth, the industrial and technical development -scientific and the universalization of rights. It is essential to fight for a new political power, representative of the majority, replacing the power of the ruling classes, lifting up new institutions and foster new social relations and a new way of life.
A strategic Program must also respond to the construction of a political, ideological and ethical profile, which accredit political parties and leftist movements as forces deserving the confidence of workers and peoples.
The 22nd Meeting of the ‘Foro of Sao Paulo’ can be a milestone in the opening of this effort of strategic programmatic elaboration, in the best tradition of the meetings held in El Salvador and Central America. Since the meeting of the Working Group, held in Mexico City on March 13, there was indication in this direction from a proposal of the Communist Party of Cuba, accepted by the attending parties.
Brazilian communists will be actively engaged in carrying out this strategic task, bearing in mind the unity of the left forces and autonomy of each one.
*Secretary of Politics and International Relations of the Communist Party of Brazil; PCdoB delegation at the 22nd Meeting of the ‘Foro de Sao Paulo’.