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The Assembly of Social Movements Towards ALBA took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, after a process of political and social construction to reclaim the leading role of social movements in the promotion of change and of coming up with proposals to confront the crisis of capitalism in Latin America.
Real World Radio attended the event at the Escola Florestan Fernandez of the Rural Landless Workers’ Movement of Brazil (MST) that began on May 16 with speakers Joel Suarez of the Martin Luther King Centre of Cuba, Nalu Faria of the World March of Women and Joao Pedro Stedile of MST.
Stedile mentioned the process of joint construction by highlighting the role of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in promoting the role of social movements in making proposals and mobilizing different sectors to resist the advance of capitalism in the countryside, the cities, education and food production and energy.
Even though he said this process took place especially in the ALBA countries, like Venezuela and Cuba, while countries like Honduras and Paraguay were hit by a coup, the social movements of the countries with governments that oppose this process took on the challenge to do advocacy work at a national level.
He mentioned some of the achievements of this process including the promotion of literacy, the creation of the Latin American School of Medicine and the Institutes of Agroecology.
Stedile warned about the “danger” of linking social movements with the ALBA institutions such as the coordination of governments. He recalled that the platform for that is the Peoples’ Charter approved at the 2009 World Social Forum held in Belem do Para, Brazil.
He also highlighted the challenges of the Continental Assembly, and mentioned the recovery of the mass struggles in the continent; the political and ideological training, the development of grassroots media, active solidarity with peoples like Haiti, Paraguay or Guatemala (solidarity letters are not enough), and the strengthening of self-managed economic initiatives.
Photo: Alba TV
“No queremos ser mártires, no queremos que hayan más mártires en este país, pero también hay una responsabilidad histórica de hacer valer la palabra y demostrar que tenemos derecho a la construcción de un mundo mejor. Y no podemos huir a esa responsabilidad”, dijo a Radio Mundo Real la dirigente garífuna Miriam Miranda, coordinadora de la Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH).
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