The Summit for Friendship and Integration of the Iberoamerican Peoples
Chile in focus ⬿

The Summit for Friendship and Integration of the Iberoamerican Peoples

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John Ahni Schertow
November 8, 2007
 

Today, the Summit for Friendship and Integration of the Iberoamerican Peoples begins in Santiago, Chile. Yesterday, the presidents of Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, along with the vice-president of the Council of State of Cuba confirmed their presence in an act with the social movements and organizations of the region.

According to Real World Radio, “The summit was planned by tens of social movements and organizations of the country, for instance, the National Association of Rural and Indigenous Women (ANAMURI) and the Central Union of Workers. Political Chilean organizations have also been working in the organization of the Summit, like the Communist, Socialist and Humanist parties. In addition, the summit has been called on and organized with the Continental Social Alliance, which gathers social movements, organizations and networks of America. They work in search of an alternative and democratic development model.”

Yesterday, Real World Radio recently spoke to Francisca Rodríguez, a member of ANAMURI and Via Campesina.

“I am very glad with the response of the organizations, of the Latin American networks, and with the meaning of this meeting to the social movements of Chile, the popular movements and the political parties” said Francisca Rodríguez, a member of ANAMURI and Via Campesina. “This Summit has been a gift for us, the Chilean people, and for the organizations of the country. It allows us to meet again”.

Today, several forums will commence for the Summit participants. The predominant issues that will be focused on are Climate change, energy issues, and integration; but “the role of the transnational corporations in Latin America, the advance of the transgenic products and agrofuels, the development of biotechnology and its consequences on the rural area” and many other issues will also be discussed.

When the forums end on Friday, a final document will be given to the Heads of States and Governments participating in the Iberoamerican Summit of Heads of States and Governments, which is being carried out in Santiago at the same time as the Peoples’ Summit… This document will aim at raising their awareness about their worries, demands and proposals.

The purpose of the Summit however, is more of “an open, democratic, and also revolutionary conference,” said Socialist Party Senator Alejandro Navarro.“There will be the deep revolutionary sentiment that there is a way to make your dreams come true, and that is done by working hard and working together.”

Indeed. Governments are more than willing to leave us in the dark and radically change our lives without our consent–and there is little we can do to truly participate in their plans, because, well let’s face it: democracy is bad for business.

That is why we must organize ourselves, create our own events, and become so unavoidable that they are compelled to acknowledge and truly involve us.

This is the backbone of the Peoples Summit, which I think is one that people in the North would do well to learn from.

I say that because, even though protest and resistance is an important social tool, the outcome of such action is inherently limited — and on top of that, If all we do is resist than we can never really have anything of our own, can we? It’s like nurturing a plant we’re trying to grow by focusing all efforts towards stopping another plant from interfering with ours.

It’s irresponsible of us to neglect our plant like this, don’t you think? Especially since our clearly ineffective acts of resistance actually strengthens the immunity of the plant we want to be rid of… what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

Well, hopefully these words make sense to you, because there sure is a need for such events to take place in North America – particularly in Canada.

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