More Than 430 Delegates Attend the 24 th Sao Paulo Forum in Cuba

Havana, Jul 15 (Prensa Latina) More than 430 delegates from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe are participating in the 24th Meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum, a three-day meeting inaugurated today in this capital with the Left's unity as its central theme.

The inauguration of the meeting was held in the Convention Palace, presided over by the second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, and gathered more than a hundred left-wing and progressive parties and organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean.

The opening ceremony was also led by the executive secretary of the Sao Paulo Forum, Monica Valente, with the participation of personalities such as the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, and the Puerto Rican independence fighter Oscar Lopez Rivera.

On its first day, the annual forum - which returns to Havana after the 1993 and 2001 editions - includes a debate to establish a position against colonialism and in favor of anti-imperialist solidarity and peace.

It will also host the meeting of the regional secretariats, the 3rd Seminar between the Left Party and the Sao Paulo Forum, and a meeting of the Network of Intellectuals in Defense of Humanity.

This regional left-wing initiative was created in 1990 by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro (1926-2016), and the former president and founder of the Brazilian Workers' Party, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

According to the participants, the new edition of the Sao Paulo Forum should promote the momentum of the revolutionary and progressive forces of Latin America, in response to the onslaught of the right and the hostility of the United States towards governments and peoples who oppose its hegemony and interference.

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Sao Paulo Forum: Space for Criticism and Construction of Perspectives

Port-au-Prince, Jul 14 (Prensa Latina) The Sao Paulo Forum, to be in session this Sunday in Havana, will be a space for criticism and the construction of new perspectives, said Haitian economist and political activist Camille Chalmers.

The teacher is also a delegate to the 24th Annual Meeting of political agreement of the regional left-wing forces, which aims to discuss and set guidelines on the struggles that unite us, he said.

'We are going to have a really important presence of all the left-wing forces, a wide range of options and trends, and innovation this year is that there will be a meeting with social movements,' Chalmers told Prensa Latina.

Camille, who is a great friend of Cuba and a follower of progressive social projects, remarked that the exchange with these movements will allow a rapprochement between concrete social struggles and policies, which can lead to 'the creation of a front to resist the pressure and the permanent threat of imperialism.'

He warned that an enormous violence against democracy, peoples and workers has been unleashed at present, with the intention of dismantling the conquests of the left in recent years.

'It is very important to create a front that can oppose this and that can overcome and relaunch the process of progressive accumulation in Latin America,' he said.

The Sao Paulo Forum, created by the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, groups 112 left-wing political parties from Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Sao Paulo Forum to Condemn Campaigns against Governments

Havana, Jul 10 (Prensa Latina) The Sao Paulo Forum will condemn the destabilizing campaigns against Nicaragua and Venezuela, the U.S. blockade of Cuba and the imprisonment of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, analysts and political leaders from the region denounced.

The 24th edition of the event, to be held in this capital from July 15 to 17, will be attended by representatives of progressive and left-wing organizations from several countries.

Latin America is today subjected to an intensive imperialist counteroffensive, warned the renowned Argentinean intellectual Atilio Boron, who noted that this counteroffensive aims to overthrow the government of Venezuela, further tightened the tourniquets of the U.S. blockade of Cuba, isolate the Bolivian government of Evo Morales and create an opposition beachhead in Nicaragua.

In light of the situation in Latin America today, it is necessary to create a big anti-neoliberal and anti-imperialist wave, and build strategies of unity, said the executive secretary of the Sao Paulo Forum, Monica Valente.

Valiente, who is also the International Relations secretary of the Workers' Party (PT) of Brazil, noted that the meeting in Havana will contribute to denouncing the political persecution against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been in prison for more than 90 days in Curitiba, on charges that he did not commit and that, according to denunciations, are a maneuver to prevent his candidacy to the presidency, as he is leading all vote intention surveys.

That will be the main issue that the PT will submit to the meeting of the Forum in Havana, Valente pointed out.

Lula and the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, played a key role in the foundation of the Forum in 1990 in Brazil, with participation of more than 100 left-wing parties and groups.

On the last day of the meeting, participants will hold a plenary session dedicated to Fidel Castro's thinking.

'Fidel will be present in that forum. He has been since he summoned us and we want to feel dignified sons and daughters of him,' said the general secretary of the Communist Party of Uruguay, Juan Castillo, who added that the best tribute to the revolutionary leader is to continue to strengthen unity.

According to the official from the International Relations Department of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), Idalmis Brook, the meeting in Havana will allow discussing urgent issues for the region's left-wing forces, particularly the importance of unity.

For his part, Chilean writer and journalist Manuel Cabiese noted that Havana offers 'the best scenario' for a serious debate on the prospects of Latin America's left wing.

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Uruguay: Jose Mujica Calls For Left To Unite Against Right-Wing

"The right united out of interest, but we divide ourselves over ideas," Uruguay's hugely popular former president said.

FIDEL Former Uruguayan President Jose Mujica is calling for the left to unite and fight back against the rise of the right-wing in Latin America, and has praised Cuba and Fidel Castro as an example for the region.

RELATED: Brazil: Uruguay Ex-President Mujica Says Lula 'In Good Spirits'

Mujica pointed to historical examples to emphasize the necessity of a united left front, recalling the long rule of Spanish 20th century dictator Francisco Franco, who "died in bed, of old age, peacefully, because communists, socialists and anarchists dedicated themselves much more to fighting among themselves rather than fighting against fascism."

He said he understands the lesson is a hard one to learn, because "every sect of the left thinks it has the revealed truth," but this mentality ends up destroying possible victories.

"The right united out of interest, but we divide ourselves over ideas," Mujica said.

Mujica was reflecting on the upcoming meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum, which is an international unity of Latin American leftist groups.

The former president emphasized the importance of this meeting given the current regional political situation: "It pains me what is happening in Nicaragua, in Ecuador and in Venezuela," Mujica said.

Cuba, and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, are examples to be followed, Mujica said: Cuba is "like a sort of altar in our religion" and Fidel Castro should be "honored daily through our militancy and everyday commitment."

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Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Commences Caribbean Tour to Strengthen Relations

Cuba's Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra Diaz arrived Wednesday at Trinidad and Tobago, the first Caribbean nation he is set to visit on his tour to the Caribbean nations to strengthen diplomatic relations.  

RELATED:
Cuba Leader Praises Maduro in 'Solidarity' Visit to Venezuela

Apart from Suriname, Sierra Diaz's itinerary includes traveling to Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica, where Cuba established diplomatic relations on Dec. 8, 1972, along with Suriname. 

As part of his tour, Sierra Diaz will hold meetings with Caribbean counterparts, along with the Cuban residents and Cuban state mission personnel in those countries. 

Through the trip that ends June 16, the Cuban minister aims to reaffirm the historic bilateral relations with the region; exchange ideas on topics of mutual interest and reaffirm Cuban solidarity to continue cooperation with the region.  

Sierra Diaz, who is holding a meeting with the leader of the Movement for Social Justice Party's David Abdulah, thanked him for his constant solidarity with Cuba. He will also be holding working meetings with executives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). 

For his part, Abdulah reiterated to the Cuban vice-minister, the support of the Trinidadian social movements of Cuba's international struggle of seeking to lift the U.S.-imposed blockade against Cuba.  

At the headquarters of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), Sierra Diaz who met ACS Secretary General, June Soomer, affirmed Cuba's commitment to the organization and its support for the revitalization process taking place in the ACS, the official note read.  

The Cuban vice minister's visit to the countries of the region, that ends June 16,  will also include Suriname, Barbados, Guyana, and Jamaica, and will be accompanied by the director of Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Luis Mayo. 

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Trump Cancels his Participation at 8th Summit of the Americas

Washington, Apr 10 (Prensa Latina) US President Donald Trump canceled his participation at the 8th Summits of the Americas this week in Peru and a subsequent visit to Colombia, in what would be his first visit to the region as president.

'President Trump will not attend the 8th Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, nor will he travel to Bogota, Colombia, as he was originally scheduled,' White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the spokeswoman, Vice President Mike Pence will travel instead, while Trump will remain in the United States 'to monitor the US response to Syria and monitor events around the world.'

The news about the non-participation of the head of state in the hemispheric forum occurs only a day after a State Department official offered details of the trip and the Republican ruler's intentions to attend the event, which will be held on the April 13 and 14.

In that time, however, he has undertaken more distant trips to Europe, Asia and the Middle East on several occassions.

The news of the cancellation of the trip is spread after Trump said Yesterday that the United States would have 24 to 48 hours to decide the response to an alleged attack with chemical weapons in Syria, from which Washington wasted no time to blame the government of Bashar Al -Assad.

The possible presence of Trump at the Summit of the Americas in Lima was seen as a cause of tension in the meeting, as the president was with an agenda aimed at seeking regional support for his hostile stance against Venezuela, as confirmed by his administration on Monday.

Also, his position on immigration and recent comments against countries in the area considered offensive augured another reason for disagreement in the forum.

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Peru: People's Summit Begins Against Neoliberal 'Counteroffensive'

The Peoples' Summit is an alternative to the Summit fo the Americas in which social movements and progressives gather to counter neoliberal policies. 

The Peoples’ Summit was set to start Tuesday in Lima as the region’s social movements, progressive political parties, Indigenous peoples, students and workers gather in a parallel summit to the high-level VIII Summit of the Americas.  

 

RELATED: Peru's New President: Summit of Americas to Continue as Planned

 

Between April 10 and 14, they will discuss how to confront neoliberal policies and discourse, the role the United States plays in the region, and the future for regional integration in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This year’s agenda is focused on several issues, among them the court’s decision to imprison former Brazilian president and Workers’ Party candidate for the 2018 presidential elections Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, U.S. economic and diplomatic hostilities against Venezuela, and Honduras’ post-electoral crisis, among others.    

“We are facing a strong neoconservative counteroffensive from the continental right-wing promoted and financed from the U.S. empire. The traditional economic and political elites impose austerity measures of a frontal attack against our rights,” the People Summit’s official declaration states. Argentina and Brazil are currently facing harsh austerity measures after progressive governments were defeated or illegally removed.

Geronimo Lopez, Secretary General of Peru’s General Confederation of Workers and one of this year’s organizers, told Cuban press the event will be “a great act of continental solidarity.” He also announced they will issue a statement in support of Lula, explaining the sentence against Lula is part of a strategy by the U.S. “to stop the achievements by Latin American countries during progressive governments.”  

 

IN PICTURES: Massive Argentine Protests Against Macri Austerity

 

Costa Rican intellectual, Jorge Coronado, said the summit will also discuss the situation in “Honduras, where there is a government as a result of electoral fraud, recognized by the Organization of American States (OAS) and that is not included in the agenda of the VIII Summit of the Americas.”

The Summit has also organized an anti-imperialist march for April 12, hours after U.S. President Donald Trump was scheduled to arrive under the banner “Trump, Get Out of Peru.” However, Washington announced later Tuesday that Trump will not go to Lima, saying the U.S. president will remain in the White House to oversee U.S. response to Syria. 

In 2005, the Peoples’ Summit led by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner and former Brazilian President Lula, defeated the reiterated attempts by the U.S. of create the Free Trade Area of the Americas, opposed by social movements in the region.

Today, country’s delegations to the alternative summit “will stimulate the rearticulation of popular struggles in the continent, militant solidarity, and the confluence of left-wing and progressive forces in the region, in order to stop neoconservative counteroffensive, defeat it and reopen a transformative perspective for the benefit of the excluded majorities.”

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Cubans drill the deepest horizontal oil well in Latin America

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 5 (ACN) Using the extended-reach drill, Cuba is developing what has been considered the deepest horizontally-drilled oil well in Latin America as deep as 8,240 meters.

Operations are based on 100 percent Cuban capital and thus far the extended-reach drilling has gone over 6 thousand meters on the coast of central Matanzas province.

The record depth is expected to be reached this year, such a drilling took a technology that allows the use of crude oil under the sea from the coast, which lowers investment costs, according to Cuban Oil expert Marcos Antonio Pestana, as cited by Juventud Rebelde newspaper.

Boca de Camarioca is the area for current drilling, a site that saw the first operations in 2016. The first extended-reach drilling was called Varadero 1000 while at present there are nine wells drilled with that technology.

The Oil Drilling Company in central Cuba closed the first quarter of this year after producing 8 thousand tons of oil over schedules and meeting the gas-delivery plans.

At present, the company is drilling six new wells with promising results for the country, said Pestana, who added that operations have expanded along the coast till central Ciego de Avila province, more to the east of the island.

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