Friends of Latin America, a solidarity organization based in Maryland, finds that the Summit of the Americas hosted by the Biden administration in Los Angeles, California last week was a failure. Instead of bringing the countries of the Americas together to discuss common challenges such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, the administration took this as an opportunity to divide its neighbors by excluding the governments of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, proclaiming that they were not “democratic” enough to participate in the forum. Fortunately, many heads of state of the Americas questioned whether any country has the right to judge whether other nations are “democratic,” and several even reacted to Washington’s arrogance by boycotting the event.
Friends of Latin America is proud to have endorsed the two counter summits run by social movements in the hemisphere. The People’s Summit for Democracy in Los Angeles was an effort put together by over 250 peace and justice groups in the United States and Latin America. Its closing declaration stated:
“This Summit we have built together has been a bridge across organizations, movements, regions, languages, and borders. We are creating bonds between us and unity across our different struggles. While the time we have spent together is coming to a close, we affirm the ongoing fight for a more just world and rededicate ourselves to it.”
The equally successful Workers Summit in Tijuana, Mexico was run by social movement activists and trade unionists in the three countries of North America: Mexico, the United States, and Canada. This Summit also included in-person participation by activists from the three countries denied visas to attend the events in Los Angeles—namely Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. There was extensive discussion about the waning influence of the US government in the rest of the world. The final declaration proposed the establishment of “an annual meeting of workers for solidarity and articulation of anti-imperialist, anti-colonial, and anti-patriarchal struggles in the Americas to serve as an example worldwide.”
These are the efforts that Friends of Latin America will continue to uplift as we struggle to defend Latin America from U.S. interference in their internal affairs, and in the process help to build the better world that we know is possible. Friends of Latin America opposes all unilateral coercive measures and demands the immediate lifting of the criminal US blockade on Cuba.
[Featured image: People’s Summit 2022 on Twitter]