Montevideo Declaration / Translation by The Dawn News / 16 to 18 of November, 2017
- The social movements and organizations, and diverse expressions of people’s movements of the Americas, heirs and protagonists of the struggles against imperialism and the military regimes in Latin America and the Caribbean, that today stand up against the neocolonial agenda of free trade, privatization, looting and impoverishment represented in the defeat of the project of FTAA, we reaffirm the principles of solidarity and internationalism that unite us, like the commitment to continue fighting for a transformation of the system against capitalism, the patriarchy, colonialism and racism.
- Assembled in the Continental Meeting for Democracy and Against Neoliberalism held in Montevideo, Uruguay, from November 16 to 18, after the intense exchange of experiences and struggle, we ratify the united agenda and coordination of social and political forces that we agreed on in the Havana Encounter in November 2015. We reaffirm the necessity to re-coordinate the diverse alternative and people’s initiatives to confront the model of capitalist neoliberal domination.
- The advance of capital over the people and their territories shows us that capitalism, racism and patriarchy are part of an intertwined model of multiple dominations. The new offensive of neoliberal forces exacerbates the same mechanisms of accumulating territories, looting of common goods, exploitation of work and control of bodies. The rates of profit are guaranteed by adjustments that are sustained by work without rights and an overload of unpaid work by women, that guarantee that life is sustained in the context of accelerated precarity of living conditions. The Transnational Companies (TNC) and the national associated elites, are the biggest beneficiaries of the model of neoliberal globalization. The architecture of this domination is expressed in the free trade agreements and of investment of new and old generation whose guarantee is, amongst other things, the World Trade Organization (WTO).
- At the same time, the system of perpetual debt is a mechanism of domination, of conditioning of the productive model and of expropriation of public resources and common goods, at the same time further the earnings of local elites, each time more corrupt and dependent on the international financial system.
- This same alliance is the one that deepens the dispute between the process of permanent accumulation of capital and the processes of sustainability of life, generating an explosion of social-environmental conflicts in the region, facilitating land-hoarding and displacement of great masses of peasants and indigenous people, creating a migratory, environmental and food crisis. By deepening the processes of financialization of the economy and the environment, the national bases and sovereign capabilities of the states to develop environmental and labor public policies in favor of the people are being destroyed.
- The institutions of formal democracy and the exercise of the human rights have been converted in an obstacle for this dynamic of capital. This explains the reduction of the spaces of democracy, the ignorance of the will of the people, the criminalization and judicialization of politics, whose highest expression, amongst others, was the parliamentary, juridical and media coup against Dilma Rousseff and the ambition to impede the candidacy of ex-president Lula da Silva in Brazil.
- The process of monopolization, concentration and control of the information and technology by media corporations, with ramifications towards other branches of the economy, it is an attack against the bases of democracy. Since in a globalized world who controls and distributes information has power over even the political powers and people’s sovereignty.
- The continental right tries to advance in the process of precarization of labor relations and elimination of the collective negotiation, the deregulation of the contents of the Brazilian and Argentinian labor reforms, like the offense of the Uruguayan management against the collective negotiation in the ILO (International Labor Organization), are clear examples of that strategy.
- This new conservative and reactionary advance re-strengthens discourses of hate and misogyny concretized in racist and discriminatory practices against afro-descendant people, indigenous people, migrants and the youth of the popular sectors. The control over bodies and sexuality is imposed with femicides, criminalization of abortion, violence against women and the LGBTI population. The xenophobic, racist and criminalizing of migrants policies that have been installed in the political discourse in the USA and European Union, are dangerously imitated by the fascist right wing of Latin America and the Caribbean.
- To this it is important to add the attack on human rights, criminalization of social movements, assassination and disappearance of social leaders. The impunity of state terrorism of yesterday converts into the fundamental base of the impunity of today of great capital.
- As part of this advance, the government of the United States tries to reenforce its imperial influence in the region and deploys an openly interventionist policy that, using all of the diplomatic, cultural, economic and military mechanisms, attacks the sovereignty of the countries in the region. The strategy of militarization by way of amplifying military bases and the presence of troops with “humanitarian” exercises hide the ambition of territorial control over the strategic resources of the region. The permanence of foreign security forces in Haiti, as part of a new mission of the UN, United Nations Mission for Justice in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) continues the occupation and responds to the same logic.
- This imperial strategy is condensed in the multidimensional war against Venezuela, that has moments of paramilitary violence, economic embargo, financial asphyxiation, international sanctions, media criminalization, and diplomatic isolation.
- The grave failure of fulfilling the Havana agreements put the Peace process of Colombia in serious danger and increases the violence in the occupation of territories by paramilitary forces, with the worsening every day of the assassinations of social leaders. At the same time the peace talks with the ELN have been stalled by the Government, that does not recognize at the same time the participation of the agrarian, peasant, and afro-colombian sectors in said process.
- On the other hand, imperialism continues its attack on processes that maintain progressive governments and an orientation towards the people, the criminal embargo against Cuba has gotten worse and the process of normalization of relations between USA and the island has gone backwards; it has taken measures against the government of Nicaragua; it has encouraged sabotaje of the management of the government of El Salvador; and besieges the government of Bolivia.
- Also, the new institutions of the region proposed in the last years like UNASUR and CELAC, that are still deficient with their contents and participation, but constitute important efforts towards an integration that is not subordinated to the policy of USA towards the region. We also denounce the relapses that affect the process of Mercosur and reorients it to the agenda of neoliberalism.
- Reclaiming the important social and political conquests obtained by the people’s governments in the last years, we recognize the limitations that we confront in these processes, especially the lack of recognition of the importance of organized social mobilization to advance in this transformation and overcome the predatory logic of the capitalist system.
- From Montevideo and under the enriching influence of having shared different experiences of struggle, resistance and creativity, of communities, collectives and organizations that build diverse forms of confrontation to the power of capital and alternatives of solidarity from and for the people, we ratify our position to the Continental Meeting for Democracy and Against Neoliberalism, as a broad, diverse, plural and united process and space of coordinating of the alternative resistances of our people.
- It is fundamental to reinforce the political action of mobilization, organization and struggle from the popular forces to build real democracies and put forward a political project of of transformation in unity with a people first nature in Latin America and the Caribbean. There cannot be democracy without participation, without distribution of wealth, without access to information and to justice.
- We will continue fighting for the integration of our people and nations reclaiming our cultural, social, political and economic diversity, putting at the center the rights of the people.
- We will confront the reactionary offensive, affirming the free circulation of people and the recognition of universal citizenship.
- We will assume the non-negotiable defense of autonomy and liberty of women, the struggle to put an end to femicide and all of the machista violence, we also support the right to legal, public and safe abortion.
- We will confront the transnational companies and their strategies of capture and subjugation of the democratic institutions, promoting concrete actions to reduce the space that they have to avoid and escape their responsibilities.
- We will mobilize so that national and international instruments are established that impede that the rights of the companies have supremacy over the rights of humans and of the people, participating in the process to adopt an International Binding Agreement on Transnational Companies and Human Rights.
- We will push forth an integration of the people that respects the diversity of our cultures. That is built from the participation of our people. That defends peace and self-determination in our territories, free of military bases and interventions, with complementarity of economies and relationships of solidarity and cooperation.
- We will continue calling for a comprehensive people’s agrarian reform, as a process that guarantees that the peasants have access to land, water and territory in addition to protection of the native seed, and of the ancestral wisdoms promoting in this way the development of food sovereignty and agroecology to feed our people.
- We will continue to work on the coordination of our popular and alternative media under a strategy of coordinated communication and we also will sustain the struggle for the democratization of communication in each of our countries as a form of limiting the power of hegemonic media in the region. We will confront the power of the transnational companies, defending free internet and free technology.
- We will maintain our solidarity with the Venezuelan people and its right to sovereignty to develop its social, political and economic project without aggressions, meddling, and with guarantee to peace and respect of its institutions.
- From Montevideo, we call on all social actors that are not part of the Meeting and to the political forces of the continent to build together a strategy that allows us to strengthen people’s mobilizations and struggles in the region.
- This path of unity is a condition to overcome the framework of dominant economy and propose other forms of organization of social, productive and reproductive relations that, based in equality, solidarity and social and environmental justice, build food and energetic sovereignty of our people and the dignified life in our territories.
In this way we call on:
- All of us to mobilize to reject the Ministerial Summit of the WTO in Buenos Aires in December 2017.
- United mobilization of all the movements on March 8
- To be present and put our agenda against free trade and transnational companies in the Alternative World Water Forum in Brasilia in March.
- United mobilization of all movements on May 1.
- Mobilize to denounce Summit of the Americas to be held in Lima, in June 2018, as a scenario that tries to put forth the agenda of neo-colonial and imperial domination in the continent.
- Organize our united action around the G20 Summit in Argentina in the second half of 2018.
- Finally we call on all of the people in the continent to mobilize in a united, combative, and solidarity way in all of our countries the 19 to 25 of November, reclaiming our agenda agreed upon in the Montevideo Meeting, as an expression of the action of our people in Defense of Democracy and Against Neoliberalism.
Continental Meeting for Democracy and Against Neoliberalism, November 18, 2017, Montevideo, Uruguay